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.

Outcry

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.

- SAPA
Read more on:    cosatu  |  anc  |  jacob zuma  |  media  |  zuma spy tapes  |  legislation  |  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
45 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Hottie of the day: Nicole Meyer!

Nicole is the cover girl for the 2014 edition of SA Swimsuit! Check out some smoking hot pics of here here.

 
 

Men24.com

11 things men don’t know about their clothes
Hilarious mortal kombat elevator prank!
This is how the Top Gear presenters spend their £55 million!
Thirty and still single? There’s hope!

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

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

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

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 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!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. 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

It may be hard to stay cool, calm and collected. Your emotions can get quite heated in the moment. You may benefit from finding a...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.