BEYOND the literality of events leading to the protest by ANC-aligned labour and student organisations at the University of South Africa (Unisa) and their call for the resignation of Barney Pityana, the vice-chancellor, lies a more serious question about the independence of intellectuals in this country – the independence to make pronouncements on “truthful” facts, findings and related opinion.
The question is whether scholars should anticipate the preponderance of subtly imposed censorships by the alliance partners of the ruling party after the 2009 elections. In as much as there is academic freedom and constitutionally protected rights to “own opinion”, not all constitutionally entrenched liberties necessarily translate into the mundane daily routine of democratic practices.
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