Zwelinzima Vavi rejects info bill

2010-11-04 17:07

Johannesburg - The government's contentious draft protection of information bill will threaten whistleblowers trying to root out corruption, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Thursday.

"Cosatu is committed to free expression... I believe that the protection of information bill as currently drafted clearly breaches these laws," he told a gathering hosted by The Daily Maverick in Sandton, Johannesburg.

"It will severely restrict all media. It will also threaten whistleblowers... who could face jail for exposing corruption."

Vavi questioned how the government could say it was serious about rooting out corruption while placing restrictions on the free flow of information.

This was in the context of an interdict placed against the Sunday Independent to stop a report on nepotism in the SA Police Service.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe, speaking after Vavi, said the draft bill was not a media law but a security one. He said the legislation was based on laws in existence in many countries.

Mantashe added the security minister was aware that if the legislation did not withstand constitutional scrutiny, it would end up before the Constitutional Court.