MPs vote in favour of info bill

2011-11-22 13:11

MPs voted in favour of the Protection of State Information Bill (POIB) today.

A total of 259 “yes” votes were received, with 41 no votes and 32 abstentions.

The bill came before the National Assembly in Cape Town, as protests against the bill took place in Joburg, Pretoria, Durban and the Mother City.

Hundreds in parly Secrecy Bill protest
Hundreds of people gathered outside Parliament’s main gates in Cape Town to mark “Black Tuesday”, the passage of the controversial Protection of State Information Bill through the National Assembly.

Almost all those taking part in the Right2Know Campaign protest were dressed in black. Some had sealed their mouths with black tape. Many carried posters.

“Those who vote for the bill are criminals themselves”, “We demand the right to know”, “Black Tuesday” and “Censorship is the New Black” were among the messages held aloft.

Protesters managed to lower the flags to half mast on two of the four poles at the Plein Street entrance to the parliamentary complex before police intervened.

The police then sealed off the area below the poles with tape.

Mondli Makhanya, chairman of the SA National Editor’s Forum (Sanef), told the crowd that MPs who voted in favour of the bill were betraying future generations of South Africans.

The House started its sitting at 2pm today.

Makhanya warned of civil disobedience against the measure, should it be enacted.

“If need be, there will be people who go to jail because they will have broken an unjust law,” he said.

Later, some protesters started dancing in the road and police closed off part of Plein Street.

Tourists on the open top deck of one of the city’s red tour buses all grabbed their cameras and took pictures as they drove past.
One protester, wearing a Bob Marley T-shirt, told Sapa: “I saw you looking at my T-shirt. One of his first hits was [Get up] Stand Up For Your Rights. That’s why I’m here.”

– News24/Sapa

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