R2K applauds Cosatu's stance

2011-06-01 14:36

Johannesburg - Cosatu's vocal opposition to the protection of information bill was applauded by the Right2Know campaign on Wednesday.

"With such a powerful alliance member coming out in opposition to the draconian measures of the bill, it is time for those behind the secrecy bill to acknowledge that their proposed law goes against the will of the people," it said.

On Tuesday, the Congress of SA Trade Unions, which is in a political alliance with the ruling ANC, said it would launch a court challenge against the bill if it were passed without changes, to ensure transparency and to protect whistleblowers.

"The Right2Know campaign shares Cosatu’s concerns that the current draft of the bill poses a great threat to whistleblowers, and would be open to abuse from officials.

Regressive measure

"We take courage from the comrades of Cosatu for speaking out against the secrecy bill as a regressive measure that would undermine all progressive struggles in our country," Right2Know said in a statement.

Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven said the bill could be abused to cover-up information on corruption and the misuse of public resources.

It prescribes lengthy prison sentences to anybody who comes into possession of a classified document and passes it on to anybody but the police.

It would affect workers who became aware of irregularities, and would compel trade unions to report members who uncovered classified evidence of corruption for violating the law.

Cosatu also objected to ANC lawmakers' insistence that the bill give all organs of state the power to classify data.

Right2Know urged South Africans to speak out against the bill and said it was running a petition against it at

  • sheep - 2011-06-01 14:51

    we wish to warn cosatu to stop flirting with the enemy. it is called outside the ANC. Amandla

      World Traveler - 2011-06-01 15:10

      The enemy of the people is the anc!

      Bheki - 2011-06-01 15:17

      Apart from the state security information nothing should be kept secret. If it is true that the people in the parliament(government) are representing us, why would they hide or keep things secret from us.

      Wayne - 2011-06-01 15:20

      who is we? you don't represent anyone so go f# yourself - 2011-06-01 15:23

      Sheep - What a sheep you are!. Nobody who has the brains to understand the draconian powers that this Bill will give the ANC,(who have by far the most corruption and mismanagement of funds to want to cover up,) wants this bill. Forget the politics and think for a moment.

      mshazi - 2011-06-01 15:24

      COSATU has a right to put its position forward as an independent organisation and need not to be warned or threatened for doing so, if we understand what democracy is all about. These are the kind of threats and warnings that are the cornerstone of dictatorship.

      willieman - 2011-06-01 15:37

      Tell us who is the enemy,my friend just open up your eyes and take a look at the following events:Libya,tunisia,zim,uganda it is a typical example of where majority abuse power.According to you it is fine to cover up for imcompetancy,corruption in the name of state security.If it wasn't media arms deal,Jackie Selebi debacle,Cele property scandal,and many examples were just going to be classified

      Jo - 2011-06-01 15:46

      For once I agree with Cosatu. I only wish they had more women in their leadership.

      saabnut - 2011-06-01 16:07

      @ sheep: &^*#head- you must use the 'ancestor' line rather- it strikes terror into the hearts of the COSATU faithful...

      Robbo - 2011-06-01 18:29

      You probably meant to say it's "cold" outside the ANC. I, for one, am detecting a distinct thaw out there.

  • World Traveler - 2011-06-01 15:10

    Cosatu, stop flirting with the enemy of the people! Leave the anc alliance immediately! Be your own man and act like a union should.

  • gizzy - 2011-06-01 15:10

    Will Costu urge their affiliated MP's to vote against the bill? I'll only believe Costu if that happens.

      Currie_Mafia - 2011-06-01 15:30

      but it'll cost.u...

  • Currie_Mafia - 2011-06-01 15:31

    SIGN NOW !!! SIGN NOW !!! SIGN NOW !!! Right2Know urged South Africans to speak out against the bill and said it was running a petition against it at

  • kilo39 - 2011-06-01 15:33

    I have my suspicions that Cosatu is privy to some of the ruling party's (Government's) 'hidden agenda' which they do not entirely agree with. I further suspect this may have to do with planned nationalisation of selected Corporates such as the mines and banks, as well as land appropriation a'la Zimbabwe, which will ultimately result in job losses. I echo the call that Cosatu reconsider it's support for their coalition with the ANC, and realign themselves with organisations that rely on action and delivery rather than sentiment and racial divides to garner support.

  • KBHS - 2011-06-01 15:35

    If even an organisation such as COSATU is openly against the bill, and that for all the right reasons (for once I need to take my hat off to COSATU and commend them for their stance) - then why is the ANC so hell bent on ramming this bill through in its current form? And if they do, what does that do to the SA citizens constitutional rights regarding Freedom of Expression as well as Access to Information? Just how scared and petrified is the ANC leadership really? And, what does our Constitutional Court have to say about this? Surely there must be a legal opinion on this somewhere.

  • falcon2020 - 2011-06-01 15:35

    Welcome to the start of the ANC's opposition...

      Robbo - 2011-06-01 18:20

      I agree. At this point in our politics, Cosatu could provide much more effective opposition as an independent Labour party than from within the alliance. It could hold the balance of power nationally and in most urban areas and possibly even achieve a majority in some of the industrial heartlands such as the Eastern Cape. Time to go!

  • voldermaude - 2011-06-01 15:46

    Viva Cosatu! Viva!

  • Tiwonge - 2011-06-01 15:54

    Enter-pretenders: people who pretend to be entreprenuers, but can't even give the customer the right change in while running (ruining) a spaza shop.

      Robbo - 2011-06-01 18:22

      Huh? What's this actually got to do with the article above. Or is it just an attempted throw-away racist comment?

  • Tiwonge - 2011-06-01 15:55


      Robbo - 2011-06-01 18:23

      Did it need repeating?

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