Info bill would've had Zuma in trouble - DA

2011-06-14 22:31

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma would have been in trouble had the protection of information bill been law when the spy tapes that spelled the end of his corruption trial traded hands, DA MP Dene Smuts said on Tuesday.

"Is it the case that the honourable president was in possession of and then disclosed classified police intelligence intercepts which precipitated the collapse of his own prosecution charges of alleged corruption?" Smuts asked during the presidency's budget debate in the National Assembly.

"I ask simply if he does not in fact find himself on the media's side on the subject of possession and disclosure? What has been good for him must of course be good for everyone: he will not want to hold himself above the law," she added.

The National Prosecuting Authority in 2009 withdrew charges that had dogged Zuma for years after his lawyer, Michael Hulley, confronted prosecutors with intercepted conversations between former NPA head Bulelani Ngcuka and Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy.

The NPA said the tapes suggested political interference regarding a decision to re-institute the charges against Zuma, thereby contaminating the case.

The inspector general for intelligence subsequently investigated how the tapes got into Hulley's possession.

But this remains a mystery because Parliament's joint standing committee on intelligence - under the leadership of Cecil Burgess, who also chairs the committee drafting the information bill, refused to make it public.


Opposition MPs, civil society organisations and ANC alliance partner Cosatu have all taken issue with the so-called secrecy bill and threatened to refer it to the Constitutional Court.

Among its contested provisions is a clause making possession of classified information a prisonable offence.

The bill prescribes a minimum sentence of three years for possession and a further five-year minumum sentence for passing on such information to anybody other than the police.

Critics have warned it would curtail media freedom and discourage whistle-blowing.

Smuts said should the ANC drive the bill through Parliament without making major changes to bring it in line with the Constitution, she would petition Zuma not to sign it.

"We will be petitioning him on the protection of information bill under section 79 later this year, asking him to send the bill back here before assent if its unconstititutionalities (at least eight) are not cured."

Following a renewed outcry over the bill, the ruling party appeared to have abandoned plans to finalise it by month's end, and asked for a two-month extension of the lifespan of the drafting committee.

  • Louwhan H - 2011-06-15 02:41

    Please sign up asap. It´s quick and easy and currently 6000 short of its 50.000 target.

      zaatheist - 2011-06-15 04:24


      Frungy - 2011-06-15 04:49

      Sorry Louwhan H, it's a complete waste of time. The ANC trying to push this bill through shows that they don't care about the law, so a petition isn't going to do jack.

      RVQ - 2011-06-15 07:34

      We can at the very least try: Facebook:

      Sam.H - 2011-06-15 07:43

      Frungy, could be the same Jack that fell down and broke his arm (hopefully a lot more) Shall we just do this today and tomorrow we can fetch the knob kierries.

      Currie_Mafia - 2011-06-15 07:51

      44,233 signers already! Let's reach 50,000

      KomboKitten - 2011-06-15 08:34

      signing the petition is better than not signing. something is ALWAYS better than nothing.

      Rapier - 2011-06-15 08:57

      Done - please don't let loyal South Africans who believe in TRUE democracy be seen as complete wimps!

      Lab-Rat - 2011-06-15 09:29

      Agreed. Come on guys. Doing something is better than doing nothing, even if it get's completely overlooked which is likely. At least it means that we are all working towards a common goal and this is the first step towards erradicating an enemy which will inevitable bring this country to ruins if nothing gets done. We need to do whatever we can for our children as the way things are going, there is going to be nothing left for them.

      Shees - 2011-06-15 09:48


      MandlaSithole - 2011-06-15 10:28

      Done. I've done my bit as a South African.

      Digit - 2011-06-15 12:25

      An American politician once said ..... "If you don't vote, YOU DON'T MATTER!!" ... the same will apply whether you sign this petition or not. If you do, then you are exercising your democratic and constitutional right and duty. If you do not, also a right, but you lose the right to COMPLAIN. I would sign, Unfortunately I cannot as I am not SA'n nor do I live there ..... just a thought. Good luck

      Joy - 2011-06-15 12:30

      Done !

      Matt - 2011-06-15 13:27

      Does it pick up duplicates? I signed another petition already

      Matt - 2011-06-15 13:27

      @ digit - those who cast the votes decide nothing, those who count the votes decide everything" - attributed to Stalin Apparently when there was the Republican vote between Dole and Buchanan to see who would run for president, the areas with manual counts voted Buchanan, the areas with computerised counts voted Dole. They tested one machine by casting 10 votes for Buchanan and 0 for Dole - the result was 4 to Buchanan and 6 to Dole. Scary sh1t but still, we must vote and we must fight evil like the info bill!

  • gary.dasilva - 2011-06-15 05:00

    @ Frungy - It is this kind of apathy that is destroying our country. How many friends and family do you have - what are you DOING about getting them mobalised to stop this bill - dont complain if you are doing nothing.

      Tigra - 2011-06-15 07:29

      Hey, I don't think it will work either - for exactly the same reason as @Frungy, but I signed up anyway. To have more of an impact, the target should have been 1 million... And they should have a .mobi website so that all those smartphone users could sign up via their cellphone...

      Currie_Mafia - 2011-06-15 07:54

      IT's gonna work !!!

  • sainsaudi - 2011-06-15 05:13

    I have signed, and I am pleased that it is an international platform which highlights this kind of political abuse for all to see. What needs to be done now is to draw attention to the application of Affirmative Action and EE in South Africa to highlight the highly discriminatory and racist policies of the ANC, which are an anathema to democracy and good governance.

      Creeky - 2011-06-15 06:29

      Frungy is the type of person that BITCHes 24/7, about the state of the Nation..... yet when has a chance to do something about it, still bitches! Should change the name to GRUMPY!

  • LagUTroll - 2011-06-15 06:15

    This still has issues with it, if the tapes show someone trying to illegally throw Zuma in jail, then SURELY those people must be brought to book for that? I want to hear these tapes, I want to know who was involved with manipulating our justice system and I want justice dealt. How can this go unpunished? I'm of 2 opinions, either Zuma my have his day in court or the conspirators must have their day in court. I have yet to see either.

      Malusi - 2011-06-23 23:02

      I think we should start by throwing those people who stole land from us.

      DJI - 2011-06-24 07:32

      Ja, all the bantu's that took the land from the san, and could not even develop it properly. those parasites

  • Kevin King - 2011-06-15 07:56

    When you are above any law in the country the secrecy bill will only benefit you.

  • DrG - 2011-06-15 08:04

    I maybe have a stupid question. Why do we settle for him as president if we all KNOW that he is a RAPIST and CRIMINAL?

  • Fredster69 - 2011-06-15 08:06

    The nice thing is that a withdrawn case can always be re-instated. Let's hope...

  • Sbongile - 2011-06-15 08:16

    I'm an ANC supporter, but I thank God for DA. It's keeping the ANC on their toes. The reason I don't support DA is solely because of June 16, Sharpville massacres, etc.

      henri.cloete - 2011-06-15 08:35

      Sbongile, will you please tell me what the DA has to do with the Sharpville massacres? Especially since Helen Zille was an anti-Apartheid activist?

      REO - 2011-06-15 09:58

      @Sbongile:My friend. Your last comment is proof that a lot of people are still generalizing and judging others by what happened in the past, even though it was others that did wrong. One should not generalize and look at the qualities that the current people possess be it good or bad.

      Kenno - 2011-06-15 10:48

      @Sibongile....but you support a thieving government instead??

      AllHoliday - 2011-06-15 11:04

      Shongile, you and ANC members tend to forget that the ANC had also in the past plant bombs and killed whites, just because you called it "freedom fight" does not make it right! But do you hear the DA or it followers go on about it? NO! The past is just that, the past. We have moved on and try to build a future for ALL citizens, but it is very difficult with people like you who prefer to hang on to the past. It is impossible to move forward and backwards at the same time!!

      Worldwise - 2011-06-15 16:46

      Sbongile, you need to relearn your history, the real history, not the ANC version. The DA didn't exist in 1976 (June 16) and 1963 (Sharpeville). Now tell me about the ANC massacre at Quatro camp in Angola in 1984 when 90% of the MK army mutinied? Bet the ANC didn't tell you about that!

  • Ixian - 2011-06-15 08:20

    @Frungy - So we just give up without a fight? Sorry I'm not that feeble.

  • angelboy - 2011-06-15 09:10

    Here is food for thought Affirmative Action "South Africa is the only country in the world where affirmative action is in the favour of the majority who has complete political control. The fact that the political majority requires affirmative action to protect them against a 9% minority group is testament to a complete failure on their part to build their own wealth making structures, such that their only solution is to take it from others." London Times

      Malusi - 2011-06-23 23:09

      9% u are talking about stole everything that they have. Prize fixing

      DJI - 2011-06-24 07:35

      Why are 45 000 000 so afraid of 5 000 000. Why cant you see that if we work together we can get this country on the map like it was in apartheid without apartheid.

  • Stanley Black - 2011-06-15 10:49

    Stories like this one are issues that affect every South African. As a result I feel the best way to deal with them is with the sharing of opinion and thereafter the debate of said opinion. In the spirit of us we have created an opinion and debate site called WECANDOBETTER.CO.ZA. Submitting articles is easy and requires no registration. The forum system is just as easy to use and you can sign in as a guest or use your TWITTER or FACEBOOK accounts to log into it.

  • Stanley Black - 2011-06-15 11:52

    Stories like this one are issues that affect every South African. As a result I feel the best way to deal with them is with the sharing of opinion and thereafter the debate of said opinion. In the spirit of us we have created an opinion and debate site called WECANDOBETTER.CO.ZA. Submitting articles is easy and requires no registration. The forum system is just as easy to use and you can sign in as a guest or use your TWITTER or FACEBOOK accounts to log into it.

  • Anonymous Thinker - 2011-06-15 18:20

    I'm willing to bet my left arm that had the bill been in place when Zuma was brought up on charges, it would've been changed very quickly to allow those tapes into evidence.

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