Zuma passes 'spy bill'

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma has signed five bills into law, his office said on Thursday.

These include the General Intelligence Laws Amendment Act, also referred to as the "spy bill".

"The main purpose of the bill is to amend three acts of Parliament, which relate to security services and to repeal an act which had become obsolete due to the consolidation of the intelligence structures," it said in a statement.

"The three acts being amended are the National Strategic Intelligence Act, 1994, the Intelligence Services Oversight Act, 1994, and the Intelligence Services Act, 2002."

The bill was not without controversy, with the Right2Know Campaign (R2K) opposing it.

"While we welcome some of the amendments proposed by the [parliamentary] committee which, for instance, make it more difficult for securocrats to monitor lawful political activity, we remain concerned about the unregulated interception of foreign signals," R2K said in a statement after the National Assembly passed the bill in April this year.

The dangerous weapons bill was also enacted. It empowers police to arrest people carrying dangerous weapons in public, including during protests.

Police officers will be given the discretion to decide whether there is a reasonable suspicion that a weapon could be used for unlawful purposes.

They will be able to crack down on protesters brandishing firearms, bricks, glass bottles, spears, or any object, which could be used to harm someone or damage property. The use of toy guns to commit a crime is also covered under the proposed law.

Other bills signed into law are the National Health Amendment Act, the Prevention and Combating of Torture of Persons Act, and the National Environmental Management Laws Amendment Act.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What are your thoughts on the possibility of having permanent Stage 2 or 3 load shedding?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
I'll take that over constant schedule changes
13% - 1447 votes
Why are we normalising Eskom’s mess?
72% - 8007 votes
I've already found alternative ways of powering my home/business
15% - 1655 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.47
-2.2%
Rand - Pound
21.05
+0.1%
Rand - Euro
18.91
-0.2%
Rand - Aus dollar
12.09
+0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.1%
Platinum
974.02
0.0%
Palladium
1,623.95
0.0%
Gold
1,865.16
0.0%
Silver
22.35
0.0%
Brent Crude
79.94
-2.8%
Top 40
74,082
+0.6%
All Share
80,241
+0.6%
Resource 10
75,186
+0.7%
Industrial 25
103,461
+0.8%
Financial 15
16,550
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE