News24

ANC uses majority to push through information bill

2011-11-22 15:58

Cape Town - The National Assembly on Tuesday approved the controversial protection of state information bill despite widespread opposition and question marks around its constitutionality.

The bill was adopted by majority vote after a division was called by the opposition, and a Democratic Alliance motion to delay the vote failed.

All opposition parties present in the House voted against the measure, while hundreds of black-clad activists protested against it outside the gates of Parliament and elsewhere in the country.

The outcome of the vote was 229 in favour and 107 against in the 400-member House. There were two abstentions.

The bill still has to be approved by the National Council of Provinces next year, where DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said her party would continue the fight for incisive amendments.

If that process failed to produce a new version, she would petition President Jacob Zuma not to sign the bill but to send it back to Parliament.

"But if this bill is signed into law, I will lead an application to the Constitutional Court to have the act declared unconstitutional," Mazibuko threatened.

Like the opposition, media organisations, activists and ANC ally Cosatu have demanded that the bill be redrafted and vowed to challenge it in the Constitutional Court if signed into law in its current form.

All insist that the bill should include a public interest defence, as enshrined in state secrecy legislation in Canada.

Such a defence would enable journalists and others who published classified information under pain of prison to argue in mitigation that they had done so in the public interest.

But State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele reiterated last week that the ANC would not countenance such a "reckless practice".

The bill criminalises possession and publication of classified information and punishes the latter with up to 25 years’ in prison, if espionage is involved.

It was drafted to replace apartheid-era legislation dating from 1982, but critics say it marks shameful a return to excessive state secrecy less than two decades into democracy.

The editors of 18 daily news publications said in a joint editorial on Tuesday it was "the first piece of legislation since the end of apartheid that dismantles an aspect of our democracy".


Did you take part in "Black Tuesday"? Send us your eyewitness accounts

Comments
  • Shadoz - 2011-11-22 16:00

    goodbye truth

      Gareth - 2011-11-22 16:04

      ANC will fall hard!!!!

      Bardy - 2011-11-22 16:04

      ANC = Corrupt, Capitilist, Communist Dictators! There goes everything Mandela worked for!

      Sganja - 2011-11-22 16:08

      I tried to support you but we failed eish...

      Gregory Jurgens - 2011-11-22 16:09

      Well said.

      Gareth - 2011-11-22 16:10

      And yet people still vote ANC,cause they don't know any better.The ANC reckons it's a state within the state,and that it is the state itself.Wait till the country goes totally bankrupt through lack of Foreign direct investment,before these "know no better" numbnuts realize who they've actually voted for over the past 17 years. True the Apartheid-era Protection of Information Act of 1982 needed to be updated and refreshed as it was outdated but not like the ANC had and wanted it done.They doing it to secure Zuma's election for a second term as President,to hide the high profile corruption allegations you see expose by the Media,and to curb spying laws and whistleblowing on ANC officials and other high ranking people from different areas of interest in South Africa.

      Bardy - 2011-11-22 16:13

      Are you seeing the truth about the ANC now Sganja?

      trevor06 - 2011-11-22 16:20

      We are now reaching a point, where I am ashamed of being a South African :( But, I do love this country with all my heart!!!

      Penny-wise - 2011-11-22 16:25

      @ Bardy - Please don't use the words 'truth' and 'ANC' in the same sentence?

      JR.lenoir - 2011-11-22 16:25

      Black Tuesday is the turning point for this country... the new struggle begins today.

      Ampers - 2011-11-22 16:28

      Goodbye truth indeed. When it boils down to it, there can only be two possible reasons for voting for this bill. 1. The voter is embroiled with corruption in the South African Government. 2. Although an MP, the voter hasn't moved up the food chain enough to bury their snout in the trough but want to make sure they will be safeguarded when they reach that position. There is no other reason for voting for such a bill. If I lived in Brazil, I would build a website for all the press and bloggers to send information to, and ensure it was available for all to see in South Africa.

      Sean - 2011-11-22 16:31

      @ Sganja ! We agree on something :)

      Steve - 2011-11-22 16:33

      @Sganja - We have not failed, we just haven't won yet! Walk a little further with us.

      Shadoz - 2011-11-22 16:34

      Ampers why do you have to live in brazil. I am gonna start working on that right now. We just need a domain that can't be touched overseas and we can do everything this side. I feel like i am gonna be commisar Danilov from enemy at the gates. running round telling the world how corrupt this government is.

      Barbicus247 - 2011-11-22 16:38

      Tell maybe i'm missing something here, what did Mandela work hard for?Coz i see the same comment everywhere, pliz educate Barbicus.

      Ria - 2011-11-22 18:37

      A Barbicus To educate you will be an injustice to that propaganda that a fascist regime emptied into your head. On another side note it took 300 spartans to start a war that nearly killed an army of 10 000. The rest of the spartans fought for 2 years against the opposing forces, it ended with xerxes' second in command stating "they fight for glory and honour, we fight for land and gold. How will we ever be able to compare." a majority does not always equal to victory.

      Tyson - 2011-11-22 19:48

      did any of you read the bill? bardy it can also read: A = analyse what you have read N = nothing comes from ignorance C = comment on the bill that you have read

      Gungets - 2011-11-22 21:30

      @Barbucas - "A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy. The press must be free from state interference. It must have the economic strength to stand up to the blandishments of government officials. It must have sufficient independence from vested interests to be bold and inquiring without fear or favour. It must enjoy the protection of the constitution, so that it can protect our rights as citizens." Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

      eric.vanvuuren - 2011-11-23 16:54

      This is so gnikcuF funny, let’s piss on all our freedom, ha. The ANC must watch out they will start a revolution. You bloody bunch of devil children, I declare I will never honour this piece of toilet paper they are handling now. Better to be in a real cage. How long before your family members are abducted in the middle of the night because of something they might have over heard. gnikcuF criminals (ANC). Just by example so far this will spell death for so many.

  • ayesha.laher - 2011-11-22 16:03

    Goodby democracy, hello revolution!

      Barbicus247 - 2011-11-22 16:41

      hahahah u make me laugh, u want a revolution against the majority, hahahah i better share this one with Julius.

      Gungets - 2011-11-22 21:32

      @Barbicus247. How proud you must be to support a boy against the wishes of a man. ---> "A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy. The press must be free from state interference. It must have the economic strength to stand up to the blandishments of government officials. It must have sufficient independence from vested interests to be bold and inquiring without fear or favour. It must enjoy the protection of the constitution, so that it can protect our rights as citizens." Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

  • KitKat - 2011-11-22 16:03

    Oh well there goes the neighbourhood

  • KitKat - 2011-11-22 16:04

    Oh well there goes the neighbourhood!!!

  • ItsJustaRide - 2011-11-22 16:04

    One step forward(Julius supention) and two steps back

      Grim - 2011-11-22 16:12

      have you read the comment from JZ regards Juju.. He still sees him as the leader of the YL.. This will only silence him for a couple of years untill his return into the ANC and not the YL. If you can get out do so.

  • Pierre - 2011-11-22 16:06

    The outcome of the vote was 229 in favour and 107 against in the 400-member House. There were two abstentions. 229+107 = 336 + 2 Abscent = 338 ??????? 400 Member House

      Deon - 2011-11-22 16:11

      MP's are not known for pitching up all the time, even the opposition. They get fired only if they miss 30 days on the trot.

      Grim - 2011-11-22 16:12

      maths clearly aint the bestest or goodest

      Johan - 2011-11-22 16:16

      @Deon, didn't Winnie miss like over 100? And still sitting pretty.

      JR.lenoir - 2011-11-22 16:19

      The rest (64 members) were not present today, so their votes can't be counted as either "for, against or as an abstention".

      daniel.schay - 2011-11-22 17:32

      Surely not pitching up to vote in any parliamentary vote is a denial of democratic representation for those people who voted for the party of that MP? In my opinion that's absolutely unacceptable.

      mark.dennill - 2011-11-22 21:43

      just ask them to add 1 million and 1 million and see how quickly they get to a billion

  • Jonathan - 2011-11-22 16:06

    I wonder what it would say about the people who voted for it if this bill is overturned in the constitutional court. If so it will really show how far their moral compasses have wavered.

  • Heini - 2011-11-22 16:06

    And we were singing, bye bye to the truth goodbye, drove my chevy to the newstand but the news was a lie. And good old leaders in the ANC, were singing, now we can do what we like......now we can do what we like!!

      Jeeves - 2011-11-22 18:08

      Bwahahaha. I sang it out loud!

  • aleck.swart - 2011-11-22 16:06

    How many people does it take to kill democracy … 229

  • JazzyBlues - 2011-11-22 16:07

    The secrecy bill passed... the end of Democrarcy in South Africa?.. since Mandela himself is against the Bill.. is this the end of his dreams for South Africa...? A black day in South Africa's history!!!!!

  • Luke - 2011-11-22 16:07

    pointblank! there lies our democracy bleeding out... this is a sad day

      Tyson - 2011-11-22 19:50

      did you read the bill?

      Henk - 2011-11-22 20:29

      @Tyson - do we have to? It is clearly aimed at muzzling the media when it comes to exposing the corruption and nepotism in Government. We are not under threat from anywhere so any secrecy is unwarranted. If you don't see beyond the hmm&ha's please come and work for me. You are easily fooled it seems.

  • cyanideandhappiness - 2011-11-22 16:08

    CONSTITUTIONAL COURT!!! Seriously, any udge that can see past his own nose will see that this is an illegal bill from start to finish... Challenge it to the end brothers! People should not fear their government, the government should fear its people. I think its clear that this bill represents the governments fear of the people, and it is a plain attempt to turn the tides.

      Vuyo - 2011-11-22 17:10

      We will now see if the Constitutional Court is in their pocket.

      Tyson - 2011-11-22 19:51

      did you read the bill?

      monkinsane - 2011-11-23 09:49

      They'll just Bribe / pay off the judge in Constitutional court. This is going to become law - sadly. Time to move - I hear Botswana's kinda nice....

  • foxinni - 2011-11-22 16:09

    Is this for real? I don't want this for the future of SA. Ai ai...

  • Iwan - 2011-11-22 16:09

    This date will be forever be remembered as part of the history of SA, for it is a sad sad day. I can't belief this....it's..it's just mind blowing. How could we let this happen?

  • Gareth - 2011-11-22 16:10

    And yet people still vote ANC,cause they don't know any better.The ANC reckons it's a state within the state,and that it is the state itself.Wait till the country goes totally bankrupt through lack of Foreign direct investment,before these "know no better" numbnuts realize who they've actually voted for over the past 17 years. True the Apartheid-era Protection of Information Act of 1982 needed to be updated and refreshed as it was outdated but not like the ANC had and wanted it done.They doing it to secure Zuma's election for a second term as President,to hide the high profile corruption allegations you see expose by the Media,and to curb spying laws and whistleblowing on ANC officials and other high ranking people from different areas of interest in South Africa.

  • Leigh - 2011-11-22 16:10

    Everyone one of those MP's that voted for the bill are CORRUPT!!!! Thus the fact thet voted for it!!! They will get theirs!!!!

  • Letlhogonolo - 2011-11-22 16:11

    meaning ke apere my luvly 'black T-shirt 4 noting,s dat it?

      Barbicus247 - 2011-11-22 16:52

      Yes, what do u understand about Black Tuesday?do you even know who came up with the idea?

  • moeletsiblackdiamond - 2011-11-22 16:11

    LOL!! goodbye democracy what democracy?

      Penny-wise - 2011-11-22 16:34

      We forget, the ANC like this word 'democracy'. They like using it when taking the stage in front of the world's TV cameras. But African-flavoured 'democracy' is not true democracy. The ANC only pays lipservice to the word. The ANC still have deep communist roots so that's part of their problem ...

      msendi - 2011-11-22 16:54

      Remember that ANC was elected democratically and the Bill was voted by a majority in Parliament. It means that the opposition in that Parliament is useless. It is just a dog without teeth that can only bark. Remember that in this News 24 website we don't represent the majority of this country. I am also against the bill, but it was voted by the majority. Let's wait for the reaction of South Africans in the next elections… Democracy is not dead…

      daniel.schay - 2011-11-22 17:43

      If the ANC was in the opposition they wouldn't be pushing a bill like this. The vast majority of South Africans probably don't understand or care for the repercussions of this bill, all they know is that in 2 years time they won't be hearing stories about ANC corruption, therefore they'll think the ANC has fixed it's corruption issues and guarantee continued support for the ANC. Democracy is not dead, the playing field has just been heavily tilted in the ANC's favour, but it does mark the end of freedom of the press and freedom to access information.

      Tyson - 2011-11-22 19:52

      daniel did you read the bill?

      Penny-wise - 2011-11-23 08:09

      @msendi - The 'democratic' parliament majority you speak of were ALL ANC MPs. And the ANC MPs were all 'threatened' to vote in favour 'or else'. I'm not sure that's very democratice at all !!!

  • Khulekani - 2011-11-22 16:12

    aykhona..the antichrist is near now something is about to happen... plz help us Lord

  • richard.hipkin - 2011-11-22 16:14

    ¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦ ¦ ¦¦¦¦ everything ¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦¦ is ¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦ fine ¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦ ¦ ¦¦¦¦¦ love, ¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦ your ¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦ government, ¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦ ¦ ¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦ ¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦ ¦ ¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦ !!!!!! ¦¦ ¦¦¦¦ ¦ ¦¦ ¦ ¦ ¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦ ?? ¦¦¦ ¦ ¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦ ¦ ! ¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦ ¦ ¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦ ?!!!!

  • Elizabeth - 2011-11-22 16:14

    It's quite simple...... They all have something to hide!!!!,

  • Jeanne - 2011-11-22 16:14

    I wonder how many votes the ANC lost today?

      Stephen - 2011-11-22 16:17

      I hope your right

  • Jonathan - 2011-11-22 16:14

    So JZ launching an inquiry in to arms deal is of no consequence really. It was just there to keep some people happy for a while and for us to think that he is a nice guy...for a while. Nobody will ever know the truth now.

      Raymond - 2011-11-22 16:26

      You mean youhad not worked that out before today. This vote was never in any doubt, it was always going to go through

  • donovan.garisch - 2011-11-22 16:14

    Guess cases like the arms deal are now irrelevant, we will never know the outcome and how much us tax payers are getting screwed.

      Vuyo - 2011-11-22 17:17

      Yes Donovan, we will never know how much the present and two previous presidents of the ANC made from the arms deal - because all of them did.

  • Grim - 2011-11-22 16:14

    The final plan of the ANC kicks into action. this was planned when MAdiba was in prison. Bring on the communist state. TIME TO RISE UP AND STOP WHAT THIS CORRUPT ANC ARE DOING. THUMBS UP IF YOU WANT THIS TO END AND LETS BEGIN THE STEPS TO TAKE OVER OUR SOUTH AFRICA.

  • Bob - 2011-11-22 16:15

    Now the gloves are off! Let the fun begin!

  • nowelazn - 2011-11-22 16:15

    Cry the beloved country!

  • BA - 2011-11-22 16:15

    Thank all the idiots that vote ANC for this shjit!

      Omnivore - 2011-11-22 17:23

      Hey BA, sounds like Busta Rhymes here wants to debate you, yo!

      Tyson - 2011-11-22 19:55

      the idiots have read the bill, did you?

  • Tim - 2011-11-22 16:15

    Give Me Hope joanna!

  • Sue - 2011-11-22 16:18

    lets all stop paying our taxes and vat and then see what the govt do!

      Kay - 2011-11-22 16:29

      kill us. :/ well well, congrats to ANC supporters do u ppl need more evidence in the corruption or u all still gna cry .

      shaza.grainger - 2011-11-22 19:23

      Yes Sue, get them right where it hurts. Every citizen has the responsibility to prevent the country going down the same road as Zimbabwe.South Africa is (was) such a beautiful scenic country it is a critical and dark day for the tourism industry. The tourism industry in South Africa that was once upon a time reputed to bring in more money than the gold minning industry. My business is to promote and market tourism internationally for Africa, and including South Africa.

  • Elizabeth - 2011-11-22 16:18

    So our ANC government is above everyone else? No accountability or responsibility! Obviously, this will help them to cover up all their corrupt arms deals.

  • PilgrimX - 2011-11-22 16:19

    The National Assembly did not approve, the ANC did. The opposition is simply not strong enough. ANC is absolutely corrupt- permeated to the core and power-hungry for self-interest only. "By the people for the ANC elite" Watching the event on TV reminded me of the Star Wars trilogy. What a common circus.

  • Victor - 2011-11-22 16:19

    "There can be no democracy, at least not in the modern world, without an independent media, a media that is free to inform, to criticize, to probe, and to expose. For the basic truth of this point, one needs to look no futher than South Africa today, and the truly courageous and uplifting role, some sections of the media are playing in exposing crimes against our people and scandals, which may never otherwise have seen the light of day." --- Cyril Ramaphosa, 1992.

      otto.saayman - 2011-11-22 16:24

      HEAR HEAR!! Take note of this betrayal, you ANC voters!

  • Gavin - 2011-11-22 16:19

    I'm surprised you were allowed to report on the fact that it was passed... Last time we'll hear from Parliment then???

  • rowan.oliver - 2011-11-22 16:21

    One giant leap backward for democracy.....

  • patiekc - 2011-11-22 16:21

    ¦¦¦¦¦ This ¦¦¦¦¦ in ¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦¦ history ¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦ All black everything #BlackTuesday ....even my comment is censored

  • Mark - 2011-11-22 16:22

    you voted for them ... so time to get what was comming...

      monkinsane - 2011-11-23 09:57

      Problem is we gonna get too, No point in passing blame - the question should be - What do we do and where do we go from here?

  • Kirk - 2011-11-22 16:22

    The reason the Journalists are pissed is because thats the only worthy news the ANC has, dodgy deals and corruption (i hope I dont get taken down for saying this)! At least we know we have 229 crooks in Parliament....

  • Clay - 2011-11-22 16:24

    Now what do I teach our children about democracy? We will not go down without a fight!

  • kayceechick - 2011-11-22 16:25

    Copy and paste from IOL news...

  • Desiree - 2011-11-22 16:25

    Disgusted doesn't even begin to convey the way I'm feeling right now...

  • Hennie - 2011-11-22 16:25

    So, it starts then. Mark this day. The sham called democracy in this country is exposed today and this day will go down in history as the first step to the upcoming dictatorship. We are now firmly on the same path as Zimbabwe and other similar African states. We should mourn the loss of freedom today.

  • kayceechick - 2011-11-22 16:26

    "Add your comment Thank you, your comment has been submitted.... " and will be moderated and |||||||||||||||| blanked out

  • tsai.ev - 2011-11-22 16:26

    Fought for freedom, and now voting against it...

      Heinrich - 2011-11-22 22:25

      They never fought for freedom. They fought for personal riches. And the whole world helped them.

  • Eblet - 2011-11-22 16:26

    "We are the lost, words unspoken; We are the few, who will carry the broken.."

  • paul.j.almeida - 2011-11-22 16:26

    In the words of George Lucus, this is how liberty dies

  • Stephen - 2011-11-22 16:26

    As of today I will disbelieve any and every bit of good news from the government. For I know that if there is even a hint of scandal or corruption they will declare it 'Classified'. I will have to vote automatically for the opposition as I will not have all the necessary news to make an informed decision.

  • Lungile Dipa - 2011-11-22 16:27

    2 abstentions ppl! Not absentees!

  • valentine.monroe - 2011-11-22 16:28

    Power corrupts absolute power

      monkinsane - 2011-11-23 10:00

      Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

  • camolivier - 2011-11-22 16:30

    I'll say this again: Gov is sealing downfall with #secrecyBill. Oppression creates voices, it doesn't shut them up. They should know this better than most.