Access to info vital for poor - judge
Cape Town - Freedom of expression and access to information are vitally important in countries where poverty exists, a Swedish supreme court judge said in Cape Town on Monday.
Goran Lambertz said during a discussion on the protection of state information bill that giving people the freedom to access information created a culture of honesty and prevented corruption.
"The issue of freedom of expression and access to information is so important to any country where there is poverty," he said.
"It is a matter of promoting honesty and preventing unjust enrichment in a country... Therefore, this is so important."
Lambertz said the small number of poor people in Sweden were not nearly as good in fighting for their rights as a lot of South Africans were.
"You have a good tradition in that," he said.
Lambertz said penalising people for possessing information was "difficult".
A journalist's job was to spend large amounts of time wading through large amounts of information, he said.
"That is what a journalist does every day. He needs to take a decision to publish or not. Penalising people because they possess information that is classified is difficult."