Info bill vote: 62 MPs stay away

2011-11-22 18:13

  • Cape Town
    The story told in these pages is both immensely readable and endlessly interesting, and is sure to... Now R399.00
    buy now
Cape Town - Freedom of speech activists and newspaper editors on Tuesday promised a campaign of “civil disobedience” against the protection of information bill.

Protests took place across the country, but on Tuesday afternoon 229 MPs voted in favour and 107 against the bill. There were two abstentions.

Sixty-two MPs weren't in the National Assembly when the bill was voted on.

Speaking outside Parliament on Tuesday, human rights activist Fatima Hassan said that South Africans will embark on a campaign of civil disobedience.

Civil society leaders and editors all agreed that they will take the fight against the bill to the Constitutional Court.

Mondli Makhanya, editor-in-chief of Avusa Media and chairperson of the SA National Editors’ Forum, said that, if necessary, “we will go to jail”.

Hundreds of people turned up at the protest outside Parliament, including Mail & Guardian editor Nic Dawes, City Press editor Ferial Haffajee, Sunday Times editor Ray Hartley and cartoonist Zapiro.

Moments before the vote, Makhanya said: “Their [government officials] consciences back then wouldn't have let them push this bill through.”

Suppress knowledge

HIV/Aids activist Zachie Achmat later told protesters that the purpose of the bill is to suppress knowledge of information such as the R2 trillion that will be spent on nuclear programmes instead of giving children a decent education.

National Press Club chairperson Yusuf Abramjee promised the vote would mean not only a Black Tuesday but a “Black Monday, Black Tuesday, Black Wednesday, Black Thursday, Black Friday, Black Saturday and Black Sunday”.

After the vote, Dawes tweeted that it “hurt” to walk out of Parliament in protest at the bill.

“That hurt. The vote was expected, but standing up to walk out was nauseating. The right message to send, but a grim moment,” he said.

Even Nando’s weighed in on the discussion around the bill, with an ad showing a blacked out message and writing beneath it: “Dear journalists, if you ever run out of things to write about, you can always tell people about our flame-grilled, 24-hour marinated Peri-Peri chicken.”

The bill will now go before the National Council of Provinces and, if approved, it will be signed by President Jacob Zuma. It will then appear in the government gazette.
Read more on:    cape town  |  media  |  legislation  |  info bill

Read News24’s Comments Policy 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
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Get fit on a budget

It’s time to throw the “I can’t afford to exercise” excuse out the window.


Where were you when you last felt alive?

Tips for paddling your first Dusi
Climbing the world’s largest stone arch
Awesome extreme sports people
Watch: 2015 Absa Cape Epic route

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! - shop online today

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy 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


You may prefer to be in charge because then you can call the shots. You are not as flexible as you like to make out to be and more

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


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 network.


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.