National key points no longer a state secret

2015-01-22 18:10

The police ministry is set to release the names of the 200 national key points.

“The ministry will release the list of national key points as per court order, in court, by Friday the latest,” said spokesperson Musa Zondi today.

“I have been told that the list has been released. We have withdrawn the appeal.”

On December 3, the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg ruled in favour of the Right2Know Campaign (R2K) and the SA History Archive (Saha) and ordered the SA Police Service to disclose the list of protected areas within 30 days.

The legal battle came after police refused to disclose a list of key points two years ago.

During court proceedings in November, the State argued that disclosing the key points would put the country’s security and defence at risk.

The R2K and Saha based their case on the Promotion of Access to Information Act.

R2K said civic organisations had complained that the secrecy about national key points had been used to undermine the right to know and to protest in public spaces.

At the time the police ministry challenged the court’s ruling because it believed a different court could come to a different conclusion.

National key points may not be photographed or identified as such, and are understood to include military installations and services or factories considered strategic.

Delivering his ruling, Judge Roland Sutherland said it was “unlawful and unconstitutional” to not reveal the key points.

He ordered police to pay the groups’ legal costs. Sutherland gave no further details of how he reached his verdict.

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