MPs vote against IFP's info bill changes

2011-11-18 13:38
Cape Town - The ad hoc committee on the protection of state information bill formally adopted a report on Friday rejecting all 123 amendments proposed by the Inkatha Freedom Party.

The one-line report - simply stating that all MPs save the IFP's Mario Oriani-Ambrosini voted against the changes - will be tabled in the National Assembly next week.

This paves the way for a vote on the bill before the Christmas recess, with the ANC majority expected to pass the contentious measure comfortably.

"The bill will now be voted on next Wednesday or Thursday," ANC MP Luwellyn Landers said.

It will then go to the National Council of Provinces where opposition MPs hope they can convince the ANC to narrow down clauses criminalising possession and disclosure of classified information.

Filibuster

In the debate on the bill this week, all opposition parties made it plain that they would not support the draft law on the basis that it threatens media freedom and gives the state excessive power to keep information secret.

But the Democratic Alliance and the African Christian Democratic Party still joined forces with the ANC to dismiss Oriani-Ambrosini's amendments because they believed he was abusing parliamentary process to filibuster.

Many of the amendments merely dealt with semantics, notably dozens suggesting the substitution of "shall" with "must" in various clauses.

A few, though, touched on core concerns, such as the need for a public interest defence.

This put his opposition colleagues in the awkward position of rejecting ideas they may support in principle, because they did not agree with the way in which he went about it.

"He should have used the NCOP process to table these amendments," the ACDP's Steve Swart said.

Swart said he hoped the process would eventually lead to amendments to the legislation to protect whistle-blowers and give the media wider scope to approach courts to overturn classification orders.

Public interest defence

The opposition thinks this could produce a compromise to the ANC's flat refusal to write a public interest defence into the bill to allow journalists facing jail for publishing state secrets to argue in court that they did so for the greater social good.

State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele was adamant this week that the party would not countenance such a defence, calling the very principle "reckless".

Media houses and civil rights groups have vowed to launch a court challenge to the bill if the ANC does not relent on this point.

They argue that without a public interest defence the bill would fail to balance the constitutional imperative of transparency with the state's legitimate right to classify information to protect the national interest.

The ANC also faces pressure from its alliance partner the Congress of SA Trade Unions.

The trade union federation said this week that its extensive concerns with the bill had not been addressed and it threatened to refer it to the Constitutional Court.

- SAPA

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  acdp  |  ifp  |  luwellyn landers  |  mario oriani-ambrosini  |  legislation  |  info bill  |  politics  |  media
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SA men take relay silver

2014-07-25 23:12

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
6 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Cape Town - 16:15 PM
    Road name: Wet Weather
    RAIN across the greater Cape Town area - drive with care and use headlights - Allow Extra Tavel Time
  • Friday Kuils River - 09:28 AM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - DELAYS
 
More traffic reports...
 

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

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid 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

Huawei B683 21Mbps 3G Wireless Router

Huawei B683 21Mbps 3G Wireless Router The B683 wireless gateway (hereinafter...

From R1799.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The day may have a fluctuating sensitive energy to begin with, but later when the Moon moves into dramatic and creative Leo you...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.