Info bill not targeting media - Cwele

2011-11-16 20:33

kalahari.com

Cape Town - The media is not the target of a controversial new secrecy bill that critics fear could prevent exposure of official wrongdoing, the state security minister said on Wednesday.

"This bill is not about regulating the media. There is no single mention of the media in this bill," Siyabonga Cwele told Parliament.

"Neither is this bill about covering up corruption," he added.

Media groups, watchdogs and opposition lawmakers have condemned the protection of information bill saying it could silence whistleblowing and investigative reporting.

The bill, of passed, would make it illegal to hold or disclose sensitive information, with jail terms of up to 25 years.

Changes to the bill after a public outcry had been "a correct response to the concerns," Cwele said.

The legislation was intended to overhaul outdated apartheid law and address threats of espionage, he added.

But Cwele ruled out a public interest defence that would protect disclosure of classified information if a court deemed it to be in society's best interest.

"The fact is that the 'secrecy bill' amounts to a full-scale legislative assault on the freedom of the press and other media in South Africa," said DA MP David Maynier.

The bill criminalises the possession and disclosure of classified material even if the documents expose wrongdoing and if exposure would serve the public interest, he said.

"So the question is not whether journalists will go to jail, but which journalist will go to jail first," he added.

The bill is expected to be put to the vote next week after the ruling ANC held back in September, saying more time was needed for input.

However the Right 2 Know campaign, which opposes the bill, said this week that "no public consultations have been conducted" and that promises by the ANC chief whip had been "utterly empty".

Read more on:    siyabonga cwele  |  david maynier  |  media  |  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
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Cape Town - 06:19 AM
    Road name: Wet Weather
    RAIN across the greater Cape Town area - drive with care and use headlights - Allow Extra Tavel Time
  • Friday Cape Town - 06:19 AM
    Road name: N2 Inbound
    DELAYS between Mew Way and the Satellite Station
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Collections Agent

Cape Town CBD
CareerWorx
R6 000 - R8 000 Per Month

Become a Financial Advisor

Bellville
Persona Staff

Operations Manager

Cape Town CBD
Express Employment Services - Cape Town
R400 000 - R540 000 Per Year

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

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Pre-order the Xbox One

Get this all-in-one entertainment system with live TV, movies, social networking and gaming. Pre-order now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer 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

BlackBerry Curve 8520

Wi-Fi enabled With the BlackBerry Curve 8520 connect to your home...

From R1100.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be putting too much effort into someone or something. You are doing it out of love and compassion but there is a chance...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.