News24

ANC rebels dodge info bill vote

2011-11-23 10:04

Cape Town - A total of 34 ANC MPs did not vote for the protection of state information bill on Tuesday, despite a three-line whip - an order which means compulsory attendance or a heavy penalty.

However, inquiries to the office of ANC chief whip Dr Mathole Motshekga revealed that the truants need not anticipate any steps against them.

Motshekga has been under fire for some time because discipline has become very lax in the ANC caucus under his leadership, and criticism of his role as chief whip will increase following Tuesday's events.

The ANC MP who took the strongest stand was Gloria Borman, a former DA MP from Durban, who was present during voting but indicated electronically that she was abstaining.

Conscience

One of the ANC’s leading free thinkers, Professor Ben Turok, a veteran who played a big part in the writing of the 1955 Freedom Charter, slipped out of the National Assembly as voting time approached.

It is well known that Turok was feeling torn between party loyalty and his conscience about the content of the bill. Evidently conscience won.

Someone who became ill in the course of the day was ANC MP Salamuddi Abram, a known advocate of freedom of speech.

Another advocate of freedom of speech, Vytjie Mentor, was not present at the voting.

The two recently sacked ministers Sicelo Shiceka and Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde were absent, as was well-known trade unionist Eric Mtshali.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, another absent MP, has not been very well of late. Various ministers and deputy ministers had obligations elsewhere.

Speaker of Parliament Max Sisulu did not vote, in keeping with parliamentary convention.

Moloto Mothapo, spokesperson for the ANC chief whip, said several ANC MPs had requested leave of absence “because they are ill or abroad”.

He would not, however, disclose who had stayed away unexpectedly.
 

Comments
  • Perfume - 2011-11-23 10:13

    Hmmmmmmm

      chris.debeer1 - 2011-11-23 10:24

      Where was Trevor? Just asking?

      Fred - 2011-11-23 10:30

      Cowards!!

      Fred - 2011-11-23 10:31

      Cowards!!

      Ryan - 2011-11-23 10:41

      Trevor is such a disappointment in this regard. there's been some times when he has given us some hope as one of the more intelligent and rational minds amongst the ANC MP's. but I'm disgusted that he heckled the opposition to this bill and that he voted for this bill. makes you wonder where the man's mind really is.

      Willie - 2011-11-23 10:49

      There are men and women in ANC who are cowards,they will never comment about anything even if their party or some members are on the wrong.They always check which side of the bread is buttered and flock with that side,some voted for abrtion bill against their will,religion and conviction

      malcolm.molver - 2011-11-23 10:51

      Trevor was there. He heckled opposition MPs when they stated that the bill is a return to apartheid era secrecy. He's nothing but a coward.

      Bonjo - 2011-11-23 10:54

      Duress maybe?

      Vuyo - 2011-11-23 10:57

      I honestly believe Trevor has a conscience. He recently had this to say about the arms deal and the debt trap SA currently find itself in: "We've spent money we haven't earned yet and we've spent it on goods we don't need. We're trying to keep up with the Kunenes."

      Perfume - 2011-11-23 11:12

      @Chris...would be interesting to know what Trevor Manuel has to say, I lost respect for him. LMAO @receiving a thumbs down for an "hmmmmmmmm" comment - I could of said more but refrained to do so lol.

      Heinrich - 2011-11-23 12:33

      Ryan : On the money of course. Always on the money. Glued to the Gravy Train.

      Tyson - 2011-11-23 13:58

      Link to the Protection of Information bill: http://www.info.gov.za/view/DownloadFileAction?id=118894 General principles of State information 6. The following principles underpin this Act and inform its implementation and interpretation: (a) Unless restricted by law or by justifiable public or private considerations, State information should be available and accessible to all persons; (b) information that is accessible to all is the basis of a transparent, open and democratic society; (c) access to information is a basic human right and promotes human dignity, freedom and the achievement of equality; (d) the free flow of information promotes openness, responsiveness, informed debate, accountability and good governance; (e) the free flow of information can promote safety and security;

      Tyson - 2011-11-23 14:08

      Extracted from the bill, you so afraid to read: measures to protect State information should not infringe unduly on personal rights and liberties or make the rights and liberties of citizens unduly dependent on administrative decisions; and (i) measures taken in terms of this Act must— (i) have regard to the freedom of expression, the right of access to information and the other rights and freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights; and (ii) be consistent with article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and have regard to South Africa’s international obligations; (j) paragraphs (a) to (i) are subject to the security of the Republic, in that the national security of the Republic may not be compromised.

      Marc - 2011-11-23 14:22

      Tyson, this selection quoted out of context looks innocuous enough. But those clauses are not being contested. Go to the one that are being contested.

  • rickey.de.clercq - 2011-11-23 10:19

    One of the biggest law's and controversy's during the last 17 years and then you are to ill to pitch up??? Please man...

      BA - 2011-11-23 11:56

      And so the house of the ANC collapses ... "The Wise man built his house on the rock, but the foolish man built his house on the sand"

  • Heiku - 2011-11-23 10:20

    Not voting doesnt really help. They should have voted against the bill. Cowards.

      Ryan - 2011-11-23 10:43

      its something, but not enough, to abstain

      Andile - 2011-11-23 11:07

      "It is well known that Turok was feeling torn between party loyalty and his conscience about the content of the bill. Evidently conscience won." No, evidently conscience did not win, if it won, he would have voted against.

  • wgjooste - 2011-11-23 10:24

    Ok so all of us agree that whats happening is not ideal , NOW lets stop talking about something we all agree on and start talking about a Plan of action . Well most of us are sitting thinking , darn how can lil old me do anything about it , well go out talk about whats happening , talk about the wrongs , discuss with everyone , strangers, freinds, family etc . They pass this bill but we still have our voices , go outside and do something ! If youre in the que at spar , ask the person behind u , ey whats your opinion on the information bill ? Dont stop talking , let freedom ring from the sunny beaches of durban , let freedom ring from the table in the mother city , let freedom ring from square in hatfield ... hahaha U guys get the idea , now go out and lets do SOMETHING , 1 , 2 ,3 break

  • colin.dennis1 - 2011-11-23 10:29

    I don't buy the conscience angle, if they really had any conscience and any back bone they would have voted against the bill.

      Ryan - 2011-11-23 10:45

      it can't be anything other than the conscience angle man. give me any other plausible reason for abstaining or not voting. its just that their conscience didnt extend quite far enough to get them to vote NO

      Vuyo - 2011-11-23 11:04

      It's easier said than done Colin. Look at what Zuma did to Tokyo and Motlante recently regarding the oil scandal and only because Zuma now realises that they are possibly (some of those) behind the move to oust him next year.

  • goyougoodthing - 2011-11-23 10:44

    Cowards abstain instead of voting no. Not fit for their positions even with a small conscience

  • Treyzo - 2011-11-23 10:47

    Finaly south africa has been integrated in the African continent.journalist, human right activists brace yourselves the correctional service officers are waiting for you with anticipation

  • Jason - 2011-11-23 10:48

    hope these sicknesses aren't fatal

  • kabelo.leballo - 2011-11-23 10:49

    lmfao

  • Fredster69 - 2011-11-23 10:49

    Amazed at how to do the right thing is so difficult...

  • Marion - 2011-11-23 10:52

    Apart from those who were genuinely ill, I certainly hope those who didn't attend, and risked a fine as a result, stayed away / escaped because of their conscience. However I think it would have been more courageous to vote conscience rather than party line or stay away altogether.

      Silvana - 2011-11-23 13:07

      @Marion. If they had a conscience they would have voted against the bill. They avoided the procedings to protect their positions. Self-serving over moral conscience as usual.

  • rita.dutoit1 - 2011-11-23 10:55

    "PEOPLE WHO HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE, HIDE NOTHING" IOW WHAT ARE THEY HIDING???????????? FOR EVERY RAT YOU SEE THERE ARE A MILLION YOU DON'T!

  • Sibo - 2011-11-23 10:56

    Why is the arms deal investigation re-opended all of a sudden...just before the Bill was about to be voted in...#just asking#

      Ryan - 2011-11-23 11:20

      Sibo, the arms deal investigation was not reopened willingly by the government, although they would like to give the impression thats the case and give the impression they are trying to be just and accountable, WHEN THIS IS NOT THE CASE. the real reason for the arms deal investigation being opened is that Terry Crawford-Browne had taken the government to the Constitutional Court to compel the government to investigate its corrupt members. after many years, this case was finally due to be heard by the Constitutional Court in November 2011. rather than the government get egg on its face and have the Concourt rule against it, the government took pre-emptive action and said it would open the investigation. it has taken 10 years !!!!!!! thats a sign of a government that tried to avoid its responsibilities as much as possible, kicking and screaming

      Tyson - 2011-11-23 14:04

      taken from the bill: Read this (4) The determination of what is in the national interest of the Republic must at all times be guided by the values referred to in section 1 of the Constitution.

  • Never-apologize - 2011-11-23 11:04

    Biaised reporting again, What about the rebel MPs from the opposition benches? tell us about those then we may beleive you.

      djmain1 - 2011-11-23 11:11

      There were none - there was unanimous opposition to this bill from all opposition parties. Only the fascist cANCer MPs voted for it.

      Ryan - 2011-11-23 11:26

      yup, not one opposition member voted for the bill. I believe one opposition member abstained, so maybe you can call him a rebel.look, its simple, the ANC is the only organization in this whole country that thinks this is a good idea.

      Ryan - 2011-11-23 11:27

      btw, they did tell us about those, in a separate news article. so time to start believing buddy

      Never-apologize - 2011-11-23 11:46

      32 Mps from the opposition bencehes did not pitch to the voting as well, Im referring to those, let Nesw24 name those like it i did with the MPs fron the ruling party in Government.

  • MSGRule - 2011-11-23 11:05

    Cabinet reshuffle is on the cards for the anc memebers that dared not to vote

  • Craig - 2011-11-23 11:10

    Wimps !

  • 2tol2 - 2011-11-23 11:20

    this guys are now becoming freedom fighters

  • Gwayimbo - 2011-11-23 11:34

    Now they r running away....why r they still with da ANC

      djmain1 - 2011-11-23 11:44

      Why is anyone still with the cANCer?? Blind loyalty leads to fascism.

      Gwayimbo - 2011-11-23 12:02

      @DJmain loyalty does not pay the bills...if they r not sure they must just quit. It's as simple as that.

  • braamc - 2011-11-23 11:53

    They are falling apart, try every bit of legislation, arms deal probe, with no option to prosecute. F*cken filth

  • Pierre - 2011-11-23 12:02

    There is an Old saying "History repeats itself" through out the existence of mankind, undermining the masses have never succeeded Empires have crumbled, Kings have been killed and nations gone to war. So to our ruling government, you yourselves should no better than undermining the masses and the will of people, you after all thought against the same policies now being implemented, You as government tend to forget you are employed by the people of this country (that's how it works in democracy) and these same people have the power to remove any member from government, yes right up to the president. What you are implementing is the start of Communism, the 1st rule of Communism is "Own/Censor/Control the Media" then through that you start propagating your believes, your values and your "Goodness", while simultaneously breakdown all civil structures, expropriate land, Nationalize resources : Police, Military, Mines, Communication and Banking. Then when you have all these institutions in your pocket, You start fast tracking by implementing higher taxes, higher rates on services rendered until you lay the whole economy lame, then Rise as gods with well thought plans by saving the country that is in slumps (thanks to you after all). these would include free food to the masses (as by this time food would become a luxury), then start praying we don't bite the hand that so generously feeds us. But like I said, "History repeats itself".

  • André - 2011-11-23 12:03

    Eish that voting machine , I dont understand which button.

  • marietspeel - 2011-11-23 12:11

    A 'no vote' should be counted as a 'NO' vote.

  • Heinrich - 2011-11-23 12:15

    That is only half O.K. They should have voted against. Perks are probably stronger than concience.

  • Chris - 2011-11-23 12:26

    For evil to prevail it only requires that decent people do nothing.

  • Chris - 2011-11-23 12:32

    Please print the names of those who voted - get their actions on the record where they are accountable to the voters.

  • Gail - 2011-11-23 12:35

    At the end of the day, the absentees and abstentions were still going to be insufficient to save the vote from being pro ANC. I wore black yesterday although there was nowhere that I could join a protest. I found it encouraging to see the protests on TV consisted of all races and ages although it would have been good to see larger crowds but people can't afford to miss work at this time of year so maybe that is why.

  • MadMorgs - 2011-11-23 12:44

    Cowards! They should have been there to stand up for rights of their country.. not hide away because of a 'popularity' vote... Truely sad for SA!!!

  • MadMorgs - 2011-11-23 12:47

    Makes me wonder... Is this the start of our citizens rebelling against gov?

  • Chris - 2011-11-23 12:55

    This bill is the correct thing to do. do you relaise that our poor MP's were begining to be held accountable and getting caught with hands in the till? this cannot be allowed to happen. it is imperative for our MP's to be allowed to carry on important business. there are many tenders out there that need to be shared around. there are many back-handers that need to be gotten hold of. they need to spend our tax money on luxury cars, expensive hotel stays and unnecessary overseas trips. surely we cannot expect these hard worked leaders of ours to be tied up in ridculous accountability. please guys come on, think how efficient the MP's can be now that they don't have to worry their tiny little minds on such triviality of accountability. thats very un-South African of you all. as for the press, well you also become more efficient - the gov will now tell what you can and can't write.

      Philip - 2011-11-23 13:20

      f%@*K the government! Oh and don't forget the local municipalities want to introduce a "LOCAL BUSINESS TAX" this is supposed to "encourage private investment and create economic growth and jobs and lead to the increase of the local property tax base" I've never heard of more sh1t in my life???? This is to fund the R16 billion short fall in income????

  • Daan - 2011-11-23 13:07

    I have said this before! South Africans, black & white, you with something between your ears, WAKE-UP!!!!!!!!!!!! The writing is on the wall! This is only the start of many worse things to come. African leaders have always been power hungry, and will remain so for ever. Can someone please tell me why we still stick around.

  • bophelo.malapela - 2011-11-23 13:19

    The party should take strong action against any MP who failed to take the party line. MP's are not there for themselves but for the party if you are going to abstain why are you representing the party in parliament?

      Marc - 2011-11-23 13:34

      The ANC is supposed to be(we are often told)a "broad church" where there can be debate and dissenting views. If the ANC is a monolithic bloc of a party line, then the ANC cannot in pirnciple be democratic. I've always seen the ANC as representing a far greater view than this ignominious bill represents. But, just perhaps, the ANC is no not only morally bankrupt, but intellectually too.

  • Marc - 2011-11-23 13:30

    I don't know who are more cowardly: those who shrunk away from the moral challenge, or those MP's who have long gone over to the dark side where can be no conscience at all. The BIG losers are, of course, the ANC. In 3, 5, 10 years time, truth and courage will triumph as it ALWAYS does. The rest is the ignominious story of history.

  • Benmica - 2011-11-23 13:56

    Conscience.....

  • msendi - 2011-11-23 14:00

    34 didn't vote and it didn't help?

  • Tyson - 2011-11-23 14:10

    Extracted from the bill, you so afraid to read: measures to protect State information should not infringe unduly on personal rights and liberties or make the rights and liberties of citizens unduly dependent on administrative decisions; and (i) measures taken in terms of this Act must— (i) have regard to the freedom of expression, the right of access to information and the other rights and freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights; and (ii) be consistent with article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and have regard to South Africa’s international obligations; (j) paragraphs (a) to (i) are subject to the security of the Republic, in that the national security of the Republic may not be compromised.

  • Marc - 2011-11-23 14:23

    Tyson, this selection quoted out of context looks innocuous enough. But those clauses are not being contested. Rather QUOTE the ones that are being contested.

  • Marc - 2011-11-23 14:25

    Johannesburg - The rand was weak against the dollar in early Wednesday trade as investor sentiment soured due to increasing worries about debt troubles in Europe and the United States and a controversial secrecy law in South Africa seen as hurting confidence. [Read more] http://www.fin24.com/Markets/Currencies/Rand-looking-bleak-bonds-struggling-20111123

  • pages:
  • 1