ANC bows to pressure over info bill

2012-05-10 20:31
Cape Town - The ruling party bowed to pressure on the protection of state information bill on Thursday, proposing a raft of changes that critics of the bill have demanded over the past two years.

These included a compromise on a public interest defence clause as a way of protecting journalists and whistleblowers who risk prison to expose state wrongdoing.

ANC members of the National Council of Provinces committee processing the bill proposed that section 43, which criminalises revealing classified information, made an explicit exception for cases where "such disclosure reveals criminal activity".

They also moved to amend section 49 of the draft act, which has been widely criticised for criminalising the disclosure of any information relating to the work of the intelligence services.

The proposed change would make it a crime only in cases where the information had in any event been classified.

These two sections were among those singled out for criticism by Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi in a submission to Parliament last month, when he threatened to challenge the bill in the Constitutional Court unless it were rewritten.

The climb-down came hours after State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele told reporters he would welcome any initiatives that would help the bill to pass constitutional muster.
Read more on:    cosatu  |  anc  |  zwelinzima vavi  |  media  |  legislation  |  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


One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

When you combine environment, entrepreneurship and technology its pure genius. Meet the genius behind Eco-Fuel Africa, Sanga Moses.



China's air pollution at doomsday levels
Hurricanes, earthquakes and floods – What climate change really means for us
Moving short film on ivory trade
10 Tips for Greener Shopping

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly


The pace may be slow today and you may struggle to get things off the ground level, but it is important to focus on the 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.