DA moots replacement for Key Points Act

2013-11-06 19:52
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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Cape Town - DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko has proposed a private members’ bill to replace the contested National Key Points Act.

Mazibuko said on Wednesday the law was unconstitutional and should make way for legislation that would protect the country's critical installations in a transparent manner.

It was adopted by the apartheid regime in 1980.

Her proposal, which she will hand to Speaker Max Sisulu, would see the power to declare a national key point - currently held by the police minister - passed to a board of officials and strict criteria introduced to make sure it was used only to protect areas of national security.

It would also oblige the state to make public the full list of such protected places.

Opposition parties and rights groups have in recent years, petitioned government to end the practice of keeping its list of national key points under wraps.

Mazibuko said the law was used by the apartheid regime to combat political resistance by declaring places key points so that any attack on them could be prosecuted as sabotage or terrorism.

"It was used to wage war on our own people... It is clear that this legislation is unconstitutional and has no place in a democratic South Africa."

She said the law was being abused by the current government to cover up the use of state funds, such as the R206m in taxpayer's money spent on improvements at President Jacob Zuma's private homestead in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal.

"When the public outcry mounted, President Zuma and his cabinet ministers used an archaic, unconstitutional piece of legislation to not only justify the expenditure but to hide its true extent."

She added: "These actions are congruent with the behaviour of the apartheid regime."

Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi said earlier this year that Zuma's home in Nkandla was declared a national key point in 2010.

The Right2Know campaign and the South African History Archives last month launched a court bid to force the minister of police to release a list of national key points.

The activist group said the post-apartheid government had on numerous occasions used the law to prevent democratic protest in public places.

It went to court after its application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act to have the list released was refused.

Read more on:    da  |  lindiwe mazibuko  |  thulas nxesi  |  jacob zuma  |  max sisulu  |  cape town  |  parliament 2013

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