Cosatu ready to challenge info bill

2012-03-29 14:45
Cape Town - Cosatu would be first in line to challenge the protection of state information bill in the Constitutional Court it became law, general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Thursday.

In its present form the legislation would put South Africa on its way back to becoming a police state, he told MPs in Cape Town.

Vavi said the much-changed version of the draft law passed by the National Assembly last year still raised the spectre of widespread classification of information to conceal corruption.

He said the scope of the bill was too wide, the penalties it imposed disproportionate and the potential impact on South Africa's democratic values devastating.

Threat of police state

"It has the threat of entrenching a security state. We will roll back the clock to where we come from - a police state," he told a third day of public hearings on the so-called "secrecy bill" at the National Council of Provinces.

Vavi said the bill was ripe for constitutional challenge on several counts.

Clause 4 (1) sought to usurp the Protection of Access to Information Act and Clause 43 reversed the onus of proof on those accused of publishing classified information.

"We have said if these types of clauses go through then we will be left with no choice but to approach the Constitutional Court," he said.

"We will be the first to arrive there. Our lawyers are standing very ready to do so."

Violates Constitution

Veteran human rights lawyer George Bizos, appearing on behalf of the Legal Resources Centre, also argued that the bill violated the Constitution.

He urged MPs to refer the bill to the Constitutional Court.

If MPs passed it in its current form "there will be a very long queue of applicants to take the president, the minister of justice to court", Bizos warned.

Vavi said he found succour in the fact that Nelson Mandela's former defence lawyer shared his views on the bill.

"It gives us comfort that you are in the same corner," he said.

- SAPA
Read more on:    cosatu  |  george bizos  |  zwelinzima vavi  |  media  |  politics  |  info bill
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
49 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Five wrapping hacks you have to know before Christmas

Five gift wrapping hacks that will save Christmas for you!

 
 

I love summer.24

Sexiest Instagrams of 2014
Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!
Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The energy today is serious, materialistic and hardworking. You may find you get a new outlook on things and you may want to spend...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.