Chance for Parly to review info bill - SAHRC

2013-09-14 07:30
Parliament

Parliament

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Johannesburg - The decision by President Jacob Zuma to refer the protection of state information bill back to Parliament presented an opportunity to consider other threats posed by the bill, the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) said on Friday.

"These [threats] include the effect of the bill on the constitutional mandate of chapter nine institutions such as the SAHRC and the public protector, its limitations on the rights to access information, as well as the unfettered discretion given to administrative officials to classify information, among others," spokesperson Isaac Mangena said in a statement.

Zuma wants two sections of the bill redrafted, after concluding they will not pass constitutional muster.

One section deals with criminalising the improper classification of state information and provides for prison sentences of five to 15 years, depending on the level of wrongful classification.

The other section stipulates that the written authority of the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) is needed to institute charges in respect of any crime under the legislation that carries a jail term of five years or more.

"The SAHRC trusts that Parliament will take this second opportunity to ensure that the bill passes constitutional muster, promotes the safeguarding needed for an open democracy and the rule of law," said Mangena.

- SAPA
Read more on:    sahrc  |  ndpp  |  jacob zuma  |  cape town  |  info bill  |  parliament 2013
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