Investigators 'signed secrecy deal'
Johannesburg - A team investigating the alleged misuse of government funds in the Northern Cape signed an agreement preventing their findings from being revealed to the public, information rights campaign Right2Know claimed on Tuesday.
"This as a symptom of the existing culture of secrecy in local government," the campaign said in a statement.
"We strongly condemn any attempt to hide possible misuse of state funds from the public, and reject any attempt to prevent whistleblowers from speaking out through intimidation and obfuscation," it said.
On June 30, a Northern Cape Cope representative and member of the investigative team revealed that he had been told to sign the agreement, the organisation said.
Right2Know said that the agreement was made out in terms of the "apartheid-era" Protection of Information Act of 1982.
"The suggestion that the use and misuse of public funds is a national security matter clearly demonstrates how secrecy legislation invites abuses to cover corruption," Right2Know said.
"We call on the leaders of every level of government in every province to show their commitment to the principles of open democracy and to the people."
Right2Know is a civil organisation that is campaigning against the proposed protection of information bill.