Activists: Withdraw info bill

2011-02-24 20:13
Cape Town - Freedom of expression activists the Right2Know Campaign on Thursday called on Parliament to withdraw the protection of information bill and submit it to a second round of public consultation.

"Parliamentarians can either continue to waste their time and the public's money to grapple with the disastrous bill, or they can read the writing on the wall: the secrecy (sic) bill must be withdrawn and resubmitted to a process of public consultation," it said.

The group was of the view that deputy speaker Nomaindia Mfeketo contravened the rules of the legislature when she extended the lifespan of the ad hoc committee drafting the bill at the end of January.

Opposition parties have formally challenged the decision and have refused to continue work on the bill, which would give state agencies wide powers to classify information.

They say that only the National Assembly has the power to extend the lifespan of the committee.

The ANC made two major concessions after the bill provoked a public outcry last year.

It agreed to remove the nebulous concept of national interest as cause for classification, as well as provisions allowing for the classification of commercial information.

But concerns remain about the number of State organs that would be given the right to file information as secret.

Idasa said in a recent submission that the count came to 1 001 and included entities like the Johannesburg Zoo.

The Right2Know Campaign said the bill, widely seen as an attempt to curb media freedom and criticism of government, needed a "line-by-line redraft".

"It is clearer than ever [that] the bill's problems are too big to be polished out," it said.

Read more on:    cape town  |  media  |  info bill

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Amazing solar inventions!

Solar power is lighting up the world, and not just on rooftops anymore.



Prince George the green prince?
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa
China's air pollution at doomsday levels
Keep food fresher for longer

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly


There is a tendency to get too caught up in group dynamics and high expectations and ideals, that your own personal needs more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.