Info bill flawed and insulting - Tutu

2011-11-21 22:29

kalahari.com

Johannesburg - The protection of state information bill is flawed and insulting to South Africans, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu said on Monday.

"It is insulting to all South Africans to be asked to stomach legislation that could be used to outlaw whistle-blowing and investigative journalism... and that makes the state answerable only to the state," he said in a statement.

The bill will come before the National Assembly for a vote on Tuesday.

Tutu said he was appealing to MPs to acknowledge the backlash the bill had caused.

"Please hear the warnings of the academics, civil society leaders, labour representatives, media corps, and legal and Constitutional experts," he said.

"This law will do our people and our country a disservice."

'Patently flawed'

If the bill is passed, the media will not be able to claim it acted in the public interest if it violates or is party to the violation of a law, or publishes classified information to substantiate a report on, for example, malpractice or corruption in government.

"A state is entitled to keep information outside the public domain in instances where publication may jeopardise state security," Tutu said.

"But if the legal mechanism created to protect state security... prevents criminality from being exposed, the mechanism is patently flawed."

Various human rights groups and media houses across the country were expected to protest against the bill on Tuesday.

National Press Club (NPC) chair, Yusuf Abramjee, said the day "will mark the start of a dark day for freedom of speech, freedom of expression and media freedom".

The NPC asked people opposed to the bill to wear black clothes, a black ribbon or a black armband.

It named the campaign "Black Tuesday", based on what became known as "Black Wednesday" - October 19 1977 when the apartheid government banned The World, the Sunday World and a Christian publication Pro Veritas, as well almost 20 people and organisations associated with the black consciousness movement.

On Monday the state security agency (SSA) said claims that the bill would lead to censorship and information blackouts were sensationalist.

"It is not correct that there will be mass classification of information as the application of the bill is narrowed drastically to national security departments," SSA spokesperson Brian Dube said in a statement.

"To argue that life under the protection of state information bill will be characterised by censorship and information blackouts is sensationalising of the highest order."

- SAPA
Read more on:    yusuf abramjee  |  desmond tutu  |  brian dube  |  cape town  |  info bill  |  media
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
44 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid 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

Mind power dominates and can help you to uncover things from a deeper level, but it can also create entanglements if you let your...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.