and said that its accounts were audited
by Deloitte & Touche, with regular reports to the National Treasury Directorate and the Auditor-General’s Office.

Repressing Law
After more than a decade in limbo, Angola in November of 2016 finally promulgated a number of pieces of legislation
contemplated in the Press Law of 2006.
The Press Law itself has been updated
to ensure compatibility with the new
constitution (2010). The new text was
penned by none other than President
Eduardo Dos Santos himself. Besides a
new version of the Press Law, the sudden impetus came with a new addition,
the creation of the Entidade Reguladora da Comunicação Social Angolana
(ERCA) – the new body now responsible
for media regulation, replacing the Conselho Nacional de Comunicação Social.
ERCA – to be created in terms of the
ERCA Law – will in essence be the final
arbiter over most aspects of the media,
especially the practice of journalism.
MISA-Angola expressed concern at the
composition of the 13-member body,
to be made up of 11 representatives of
political parties and 2 from among media professionals. Under the guise of
offering professional assistance to media organisations to ensure they are in
compliance with laws and regulations,
ERCA will “organise and maintain a database on behalf of media organisations
and companies subject to ERCA supervision, to permit assessment of their
compliance with the law”. ERCA will
have the power to “enforce compliance
with professional journalistic ethics and
standards”; “enforce compliance with
any applicable laws, regulations and
technical requirements within the scope
of its competence”; and “verify compliance by radio and television operators
with both the generic and specific aims
and conditions of their respective char-


So This is Democracy? 2016

ters and activities”. Furthermore, ERCA
will have the right to investigate, and adjudicate complaints about potential or
actual “transgression of the legal or regulatory norms” not just from “interested
parties” but also “on its own initiative”.
It bears reminding that this is a body that
will be governed by political parties, in
a composition that mirrors national political strength, in other words, with a
majority of MPLA members.

requirements are
inconsistent with
international law
on freedom of
information. The issue
is not what Article 19
says; the issue is its
enforceability and the
use of international
law as a tool of
litigation in support of
prosecuted journalists
when you are arguing
in domestic courts” –
Enrique Armijo, media
lawyer, Washington,

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