Don't include 'public interest' defence: Cwele

2010-10-22 15:36

kalahari.com

Cape Town - State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele on Friday urged Parliament's special committee dealing with the draft protection of information bill not to include a "public interest" defence in the bill.

Serious consideration had been given to the submission to create a section on defences in the bill, he told the committee in his presentation.

However, "we remain convinced that conceding to such a demand would be tantamount to shredding this bill even before it becomes law", he said.

To allow anyone to put national security information in the public domain, with a hope that such action might, in the unlikely event, be deemed to be in the public interest, would be simply reckless.

"It would be just to increase the vulnerability of the Republic, reduce the risk of doing business for our adversaries, and put many lives, limbs, and property in undue danger. In short, I will fail in my duty if I concede.

"Never should the committee, therefore, concede to public interest defence and include such in this bill," Cwele said.

"We have critically studied the reasons why the United Kingdom, the first country to have a public interest defence clause in its Official Secrets Act of 1889, decided against keeping it in their statute books.

"We are convinced that the reasons that led them to repeal that provision remain valid for us," he said.

In the main, public interest defence made the law unworkable and provided a loophole exploited by many for self-serving purposes.

Their efforts unduly undermined national security by unintentionally encouraging the leakage of sensitive information.

With the provisions of the Protected Public Disclosure Act, the Promotion of Access to Information Act, and public interest access to information aligned in the bill, adding public interest defence would "really be over-kill".

Classification levels had already been lowered from four to three, and request for declassification and review of classified information on the basis of public interest had been provided for, Cwele said.
- SAPA
Read more on:    siyabonga cwele  |  media  |  legislation  |  security
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic & Train Alerts
Traffic
Cape Town 12:55 PM
Road name: Nelson Mandela Boulevard Inbound

FLOODING near the Strand Street exit - approach with caution

Goodwood 12:14 PM
Road name: N7 Vanguard Drive Southbound

SLOW TRAFFIC towards Voortrekker Road

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 30% off top fragrances

Get mind blowing savings on selected fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today you may want to bond with your children and need to connect to your imaginative and playful side. It may be that you are...read more

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

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.