Daily Dispatch editor, Donald Woods is banned


Donald Woods and Steve Biko - Source: https://www.dispatch.co.za

Wednesday, 19 October 1977

The South African government closed down the daily newspaper 'The World' and its associated 'Weekend World'. The actions provoked worldwide shock and protest. By 28 October the government enforced the Newspaper and Imprint Registration Act no 19, a version of an earlier act that required that all newspapers be registered and conform to a strict code of conduct. Newspapers were also required to lodge a large amount of money as a deposit before they could publish. This became known as "Black Wednesday."

On the same day, Daily Dispatch editor Donald Woods who was also a friend to the murdered Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) leader, Steve Biko was served with a five year banning order. Woods was served with a five-year banning order under the Internal Security Act at Johannesburg airport shortly before he was to fly to the United States to meet, among others, the Secretary of State, Cyrus Vance.

According to Glyn Williams, former editor of the Daily Dispatch, the Daily Dispatch had a two-word headline on the following day (20 October): “Editor banned”. “And there was no need to say who that editor was,” he added.

• Stewart.G.(2013),"Fated to make news",From:The media online,13 March, [Online] available at: www.themediaonline.co.za,[Accessed : 10 October 2013]
• History Matters, ‘Banned, but never silenced’, [online], available at www.historymatters.co.za (Accessed: 19 September 2012)

Last updated : 10-Oct-2013

This article was produced by South African History Online on 10-Oct-2012

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