Don't include 'public interest' defence: Cwele

2010-10-22 15:36

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

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 

No legal challenge to Nkandla report - Mbete

There are no plans to legally challenge Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report on Nkandla, ANC national chairperson Baleka Mbete says.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Newlands - 14:10 PM
    Road name: M3 Both Ways
    QUEUEING TRAFFIC on Wynberg Hill
  • Thursday Rondebosch - 12:58 PM
    Road name: Main Road Southbound
    HEAVY DELAYS between Rosebank and Newlands
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! 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

Nokia Lumia 800

The stunningly social Nokia Lumia 800 features head-turning design, ...

From R2395.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow things...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.