Wednesday, November 09, 2005


South Africa gags whites-only radio.

Critics of Orania accuse them of living in the past. South Africa's all-white enclave town of Orania has lost its radio station. The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) said Radio Klub100 had been shut down after broadcasting without a licence. Icasa official Lydia de Souza also said the station had been broadcasting racist material.

Orania was established in the early 1990s by white South Africans who wanted to keep a racially exclusive community after the end of apartheid. "Our monitors were of the view that it was a racist-based station and very right wing," Ms de Souza, senior manager of broadcast licensing, monitoring and compliance at Icasa, told Reuters.

Icasa says however that it was the lack of a licence, rather than the content of its broadcasts, that prompted the closure of the station and the confiscation of its equipment. The founders of Orania took over a disused settlement in the semi-arid Northern Cape, hoping to make it the core of a Volksstaat (Afrikaner people's state).

Doubts have been cast over Orania's future as an independent community since the government declared its intention to include the all-white town into a larger municipal district, as part of a nationwide plan to restructure local government.


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