ANC wants limited changes to info bill

2013-10-09 23:04
An info bill protester (Picture: Nielen Bottomley, News24)

An info bill protester (Picture: Nielen Bottomley, News24)

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Cape Town - The ANC on Wednesday ruled out a comprehensive rewrite of the protection of state information bill.

The party said it confined itself to correcting two technical errors in the draft law.

It took this position after state law adviser Enver Daniels said President Jacob Zuma had effectively ruled out far-reaching changes when he sent the bill back to Parliament last month.

"No room exists in the referral for issues not raised by the president," Daniels told the National Assembly's ad hoc committee reviewing the contested draft law.

Daniels proposed changes to sections 42 and 45.

These were singled out by Zuma as problematic when he sent the bill back to the legislature instead of signing it into law, saying he believed it was unconstitutional.

Due to the way the president phrased his referral to Parliament, there has been confusion for the past four weeks as to whether he had instructed MPs to review all of the bill or merely rewrite those two sections.

DA wants clarity

DA MP Dene Smuts said this made it impossible for the committee to proceed with the review and asked that the chairperson write to Zuma to ask for clarity.

The ANC rejected the call as an insult to the president and agreed to the changes put forward by Daniels.

Smuts and African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) MP Steve Swart said though they not only agreed with these amendments, but had in fact requested them in a letter to Zuma, they could not support them.

"Even though we asked for these changes we cannot agree to them because the process is so flawed," Smuts said.

The ANC is expected to adopt the amendments by vote when the committee meets on Thursday, for possibly the last time, before referring the amended bill back to the National Assembly.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  acdp  |  jacob zuma  |  cape town  |  politics  |  info bill

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