News24

Investigators 'signed secrecy deal'

2011-07-05 20:28

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.

Comments
  • thinkza - 2011-07-05 20:58

    When they can not make it a law, they bribe or coerce.

      thinker - 2011-07-05 22:34

      Unless this is challenged in court, ALL investigation to follow will come with this tendency.

      Explore.@24.com - 2011-07-06 07:19

      Just heard that the Public Protector is about to be arrested. It is expected she will announce today the re-opening of the Oilgate investigation???

      Sheda Hab - 2011-07-06 08:28

      Cry the Beloved Country.

  • Benzo - 2011-07-05 21:14

    The cope member was probably told: "sign and get the contract or don't sign and don't get the contract". Such a contract seems unconstitutional. Any legal brains out there??

      daaivark - 2011-07-06 08:27

      Of course it's unconstitutional. Why do you think people are objecting? And what contract are you talking about, please?

      mariushr - 2011-07-06 12:57

      You can read the "COPE representative" statement, otherwise known as Fred Wyngaardt, MPL and leader of the official opposition in the Northern Cape, here: http://en-gb.facebook.com/notes/the-congress-of-the-people-cope/statement-call-municipal-manager-anc-provincial-secretary-as-witnesses-for-carga/248916585123619

      Meanleader - 2011-07-06 16:52

      Daaivark ...you seriously need to get a bit of leg over son ..what's with all the bitter and twisted chirps of late ?? A confidentiality agreement can easily be referred to as a contract ...it fulfills all the criteria ! Djy's verkramp !

  • Digit - 2011-07-05 21:36

    Besides that which directly threatens the security of the nation ... from an outside force or sinister inside force ... ie treasonous acts ..... NOTHING can carry the seal of secrecy if the deeds reported on were paid with public funds. This stinks of corruption, misinformation and fraud.

  • Andrew - 2011-07-05 22:52

    Government and local councils need to be held to account for spending in a transparent way. According to the constitution , the public has a right to know!! The R2K campaign is fighting for the poorest communities to receive basis services at the same time fighting for the truth around issues like the arms deal. They are true heroes to all South Africans.

  • fraserm - 2011-07-06 00:49

    Is it now a secret what these guys are doing with our money? It's like a cheating spouse. You always going to be looking over you shoulder. A cheating wife I could get rid of but we stuck with you thieving, treacherous, scummy bast*rds. You have no shame!

  • pothead - 2011-07-06 01:24

    is this the begining of the end? information bill.......????? it has already started and there is nothing we can do about it! there has been corruption in the northern cape as early as '98! with all the evidence they have on the arms-deal,why are the np dragging their feet? shabier took the fall for that one and it's going to be interesting to see,if they are going to re-open the investigation,who takes the fall this time?

  • Zion - 2011-07-06 06:13

    Surely if it is illegal to sign such a document then it means the document is not valid.

  • paypalawsuit - 2011-07-06 06:56

    with a corrupt president, anything is possible. like the few court cases against him. nothing will come of any corruption because they culture is that it is their right to have it all.

  • abrham - 2011-07-06 07:33

    "Right2Know said that the agreement was made out in terms of the "apartheid-era" Protection of Information Act of 1982." so apartheid do have some benefits for the previously disadvantaged !!!!

  • Liberty - 2011-07-06 08:21

    Right to know should take them to court. I am sure that that law was not applied correctly in this instance or that the law is perhaps unconstitutional. To hide the plunder and theft of public money cannot be right or acceptable under any sircumstances

  • Vince.York - 2011-07-06 08:55

    The 'deployed cadre system' is now showing it's bare fangs - in this instance and again in the threat against the life of the reporter Mzilikazi wa Afrika AND in attempts to shut up the public protector. Has SA reached the bottom of the pit yet and is it swinging back up towards the top - OR is it digging itself even deeper into zanu-pf style degradation with connected cadres taking all the food and the nest as well?

  • Nkalakatha - 2011-07-06 09:21

    This demonstrates a lack of true leadership !!! It starts from the top and then it goes right down. This is why nobody trust anything the government say and or do becauce there is no accountability/responsibility it just get swept under the carpet and the band is playing on and on !!

  • Crime Buster - 2011-07-06 09:24

    This is an effective move to curb the continuous external influence media have on these matters. Relaying all info to the public negatively influences the outcome in the court - many cases are ultimately dropped due to this fact. It is often that the info is classified in some form but once in the open the "criminal" raises concerns that they are being tried by the media and that the evidence they were going to present will now be clouded. However, the chances are now that once the cases are concluded Joe Public will have no visibility of the final outcome - that should be the concern. We should therefore protest that for every case finalised (positive or negative) details should be visible. To conclude, many of the investigations open a can of worms but due to media involvement (and note that many reporters are funded with brown envelopes from the bad guys - think Piet Rampedi, Moloto Moloto, Oliphant, Mandy Rossouw, and so forth) the actual guilty party is being portrayed as a Knight in Shining Armour and the investigators as the bad guys! This trend has really gathered momentum and one can easily spot the game by noting the word "allegedly" in any form in the report - this means it is untested but hell lets report on it as it sells! Some clowns perceive this as great investigative reporting but the damage actually done far outweighs the good being done by the various investigative teams and please remember there are some good cops out there and dont exclude the PP!

  • Jakes - 2011-07-06 09:31

    Why the hell investigate anything if you do not intend using the information coming from such investigation????

  • Virginia - 2011-07-06 10:24

    Thieves will always cover for each other. I am so sorry to say this, but these councillors and members of government must be taken to court by the people of the provinces, its their livelyhood that is being squandered by these people. 90c in every Radn goes to pay these people salaries, not much left over to govern the province with. People stand up for your rights, these people need to answer for their theft of government funds, funds that are meant for the up grading of our people.

  • mariushr - 2011-07-06 12:57

    You can read the "COPE representative" statement, otherwise known as Fred Wyngaardt, MPL and leader of the official opposition in the Northern Cape, here: http://en-gb.facebook.com/notes/the-congress-of-the-people-cope/statement-call-municipal-manager-anc-provincial-secretary-as-witnesses-for-carga/248916585123619

  • Pleurotus - 2011-07-06 13:00

    Blerrie Agents!

  • AllHoliday - 2011-07-06 16:17

    What is the use of investigating if your findings are kept secret??? Corruption is a threat to 'national security', the quilty parties should be named and shamed and be prosecuted under that same act!!

  • June - 2011-07-06 21:08

    Same ole same ole, everything always has to be corrupt or underhand.

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