ANC adopts final info bill draft

2012-11-27 10:55
Info bill protest (Picture: Nielen Bottomley, News24)

Info bill protest (Picture: Nielen Bottomley, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • The Da Vinci Method
    Break Out & Express Your Fire. Discover and master the fiery temperament shared by great leaders. Now R311.00
    buy now
Cape Town - The ANC adopted the final draft of the protection of state information bill on Tuesday in the absence of opposition parties, who walked out in protest.

The eight ruling party MPs on the ad hoc committee handling the draft official secrets law voted unanimously to adopt a report to the National Council of Provinces outlining changes made to it in the past year.

"It is done. We are very happy that we have come so far," said ANC lawmaker Sam Mazosiwe.

The report also contains the objecting views of other political parties, but the Democratic Alliance and the Congress of the People refused to vote on the document because it was handed out only after the meeting began.

"We were told we would have the report at the weekend, not half-an-hour after the meeting began," said the DA's Alf Lees.

He said it was impossible to study the report in a short time to see whether it accurately reflected both amendments agreed to and dissenting minority reviews.

Committee chairperson Raseriti Tau accused the opposition of reneging on an agreement to adopt the report on Tuesday, but Lees said the undertaking could not stand given the delay in producing the document.

Eleventh hour changes


Last week, the ANC made eleventh hour changes to the bill after coming under renewed pressure from its ally, the Congress of SA Trade Unions, relenting on some of its most contested clauses.

The ANC notably went against the wishes of State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele by proposing to reinsert a clause offering protection for those who reveal classified information to expose a crime.

It also agreed to scrap a clause that expressly stated that the new legislation would trump the progressive Promotion of Access to Information Act, which was passed in 2000 to give citizens the right to access the information necessary to exercise their constitutional rights. Thirdly, it moved to give explicit permission to the public protector, the auditor general and all other chapter nine institutions to be in possession of classified information.

The ruling party made plain that it would not consider further changes to the bill, which has met with sustained protest since it was introduced two-and-a-half years ago and has been slated as a throwback to apartheid-era state secrecy.

Opposition parties have welcomed the changes, but like civil society groups they say these do not go far enough to promote transparency and protect whistle-blowers.

The report was expected to be put to the NCOP on Thursday, but the committee was considering delaying the debate in the council until next week.

After its likely adoption by the council, given the ANC's majority in the chamber, it has to be referred back to the National Assembly for approval of the amendments.

- SAPA
Read more on:    cope  |  da  |  anc  |  media  |  info bill  |  parliament 2012  |  legislation
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
183 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport

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

ONE DAY ONLY – 50% off 1000’s of toys

Get 50% of 1000’s off toys! Offer valid on selected toys. Shop now! T&C’s apply

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. 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

Mind power dominates and can help you to uncover things from a deeper level, but it can also create entanglements if you let your...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.