Weak turnout at pro-info bill protest

2012-03-30 14:08

Cape Town - About 20 people pitched up outside Parliament's main gates on Friday in an "expression of support" for the protection of state information bill.

What the gathering of local African National Congress, SA Communist Party, and the SA National Civics Organisation members lacked in numbers, however, they made up for with some enthusiastic singing, dancing in a circle, and holding aloft small posters.

Messages included: "Reject the hysteria of the Right2Know campaign"; "Editors: Stick to editing, we'll get on with governing"; "Media is NOT the custodian of the public interest"; and, "ANC says protect our sovereignty and support the protection of information bill".

Speaking at the demonstration, SACP Cape Town treasurer Howard Smith said it was up to Parliament to make decisions on the bill, "not press editors".

He said "hysteria" was being whipped up by the Right2Know (R2K) campaign against the so-called secrecy bill, and he suggested the organisation had secret backers.

"I see the hand of American imperialism behind the Right2Know campaign," he said as members of his party, several wearing red T-shirts, danced alongside.

R2K responds

Across from the demonstration, high on the wall of St Mary's Cathedral, a three-metre high red sign proclaimed: "The truth will set you free. Say NO to the SECRECY BILL".

In a statement earlier on Friday, the R2K in the Western Cape denied it had foreign backing.

"It is not a great leap to imagine that we will soon be accused of being 'agents of a foreign state' and find ourselves locked up in... prisons under the provisions of the secrecy bill or General Intelligence Laws Amendment Bill, both currently before Parliament," it said.

The small demonstration moved at least one homeless man off the Plein Street bench he had been sleeping on.

Asked what he thought of the gathering, Conrad [no last name given], who was bundled up in several layers of clothing and wearing a red Father Christmas cap, said it was "very nice", but did not know what it was about.

He then asked for some small change and said he was leaving to visit a local soup kitchen.

  • Neutedop - 2012-03-30 14:25

    Bwhahahaha - for once there is some good reporting. Go Conrad - will give you extra R5 wehn I spot you.

      CharlesDumbwin - 2012-03-30 14:55

      The ANC and their militant Youth League could only organise 20 people ??? BAWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA !!! Talk about losing support !!!!!!

      Kala - 2012-03-30 14:58

      A true heart warming story. My Friday has just been made.

  • hoyingomane - 2012-03-30 14:26

    Because is cape town,bring it up to pretoria or jhb you will be amazed by the turn out.

      Final.Punishment - 2012-03-30 14:30

      it is p155ing down with rain in Cape Town.

      Stephen - 2012-03-30 14:41

      Hope your wrong

      CharlesDumbwin - 2012-03-30 14:59

      A-Hoying there mate! Stop smoking that strong stuff. It doesn't matter where this 'protest' will be held, MAJORITY OF ALL SOUTH AFRICA, thinks the ANC secrecy bill is a load of unconstitutional rubbish !!! Please wake up to the global community in the year 2012 !!!???

      Felix - 2012-03-30 15:02

      They don't want to because cANCer will have to hand out too much free KFC and T-shirts.

      jackal666.daniel - 2012-03-30 15:05

      LOL!!! I think you will be surprised buddy!

  • wesleywt - 2012-03-30 14:31

    It was raining. Water melts idiots, thus the low turnout.

  • Tsietsi - 2012-03-30 14:38

    The people who actually have secret backers are those clumsy, ignorant and hypnotised demonstrators. No sane and sensible person can support this bill given the level of corruption in this country, by the very same party that is working so hard to see the bill passed into law. MORONS!!

      Deon - 2012-03-30 14:42

      BIG thumbs up from me

      npretorius2 - 2012-03-30 14:45

      Theyre afraid all their corruption gets exposed, and basicly NEED the bill

      tshekiso.saul - 2012-03-30 15:20

      Tsietsi I am for pro info bill. Go read on diseases and see the long term plans in dis-empowering the world

      CharlesDumbwin - 2012-03-30 15:22

      @tshekiso.saul - remember how pro-info bill you are one day when the ruling party is taking all your taxes and providing no service delivery. The media won't be able to speak out on your behalf and fight your cause against government corruption. Who will you go cry to then?

      Rob - 2012-03-30 16:13

      tshekiso: You use a source that some might say is hardly credible. Well, I had a look at deepspace4. Are you aware that at least some of the information is referenced to wiki, iy you are not you will find this comment on the 'bible code'page....The following definition and partial history data were taken from WIKIPEDIA. Now please get away from the crazy fringe. By all mean amuse yourself with stuff like this, but don't be delusional about its relevance to the real world. As for freedom of information etc....any sort of information censorship represents a trade-off between right to information and state security, but all things considered I cannot see any sense in giving more power of censorship to a group that continuously show that individuals will abuse that power. Let's get real and establish effective controls whoever is in government.

  • Deon - 2012-03-30 14:43

    The Commies cannot see the woods for the trees again - secret American "Imperialistic" backers? No wonder Stalin went of the deep end - they keep pushing the human limit for paranoia

  • Stephen - 2012-03-30 14:44

    20 peasants turn out.

      Kala - 2012-03-30 14:59

      It was probably jobless folks looking for a free t-shirt and cap.

      CharlesDumbwin - 2012-03-30 15:00

      The were given free yellow T-shirts and a box each of Streetwise 2. That's how the ANC buy's their rent-a-crowds ...

      alansmartSnr - 2012-03-31 00:59

      LOL,, Kala and CharlesDumwin.. Wish I could give a thousand "Thumbs up"

  • tobydt - 2012-03-30 14:46

    20 people in favour of the protection bill? There you have it.

      spartanx93 - 2012-03-30 14:55

      they the few brain washed mugs.

      Kala - 2012-03-30 15:18

      Maybe they thought it was for a job in protection services

      tobydt - 2012-03-30 15:36

      Kala - If that was the case, there would have been at least 50 people there :P

  • hoyingomane - 2012-03-30 14:54

    @news24 you don't mention the rain in cape town lol just that 20 people showed up lol

      hoyingomane - 2012-03-30 15:10

      And your comment won't be removed by news24 but if us blacks write that crap it gets removed.even this comment won't last!

      tobydt - 2012-03-30 15:10

      If people felt strongly over their convictions, then they would have endured the rain.

      CharlesDumbwin - 2012-03-30 15:16

      Hoying I didn't mention colour, except for the white victims. Know something we don't? No wait, we all know ...

      CharlesDumbwin - 2012-03-30 15:23

      see you were wrong, my comment was deleted. Must be ANCYL teenagers working in the news room

      hoyingomane - 2012-03-30 15:25

      Thank you very much news24 for removing that racist comment

  • Sharon - 2012-03-30 14:55

    They need to book rent-a-mob well in advance - they are very much in demand these days.

      CharlesDumbwin - 2012-03-30 15:04

      The simple-minded masses are easily persuaded. Free T-shirts and KFC all around, there you have it, you can buy their cheap votes again next elections...

      jackal666.daniel - 2012-03-30 15:06

      They wont be able to pay the mob in time and will get sued for that as well!

  • Jadon - 2012-03-30 15:03

    I bet you Conrad was actually the Editor of the Sunday Times, secretly spying on the honourable citizens of South Africa engaged in this mass march, his pockets bulging with wads of 'foreign backing'.

  • lydonmcg - 2012-03-30 15:06

    BRILLIANTLY written hahaha.

  • Irene - 2012-03-30 15:11

    LOL! 20 people showed up. Is the ANC running out of money for their rent-a-crowd?

      Roger - 2012-03-30 15:50

      That's why they need to press ahead with e-tolling !

  • Brad.Kopping - 2012-03-30 15:14

    xD i bet ANC hired these bafoons to stage this!!! PATHETIC!!!

      CharlesDumbwin - 2012-03-30 15:20

      You think? Where do you think all the busses come from when the people are shipped in from the townships to protests and Juju hearings, etc? I think the ruling part has an annual budget for "Rent a Crowd" expenses.

      tobydt - 2012-03-30 15:38

      CharlesDumbwin - "I think the ruling part has an annual budget for "Rent a Crowd" expenses." That would explain it, the ANC has approached the IEC, asking for an increase in government funding for political parties, as the ANC cant handle its expenses anymore on the current R100 million state budget.

  • Jay - 2012-03-30 15:21

    A clear sign that only the corrupt and criminal politicians want the info bill ... and NO ONE else especially not the public

      Rob - 2012-03-30 16:46

      The reality I suspect is that 'the majority' don't have a clue....neither about the bill nor about the importance of freedom of information.

  • tobydt - 2012-03-30 15:36

    The rain is merely proof that God is against the POI bill :P

      Scouter - 2012-03-30 15:56

      Cynic! - I think you are probably right though :-)

  • Scouter - 2012-03-30 16:01

    Don't get too excited - this is the new Zimababwe on a much grander scale. They will push it through regardless - it is crucial to the ANC's bigger plan - next stop, the Constitution.

  • sampson.mamphweli - 2012-03-30 17:14

    This is a very good piece of legislation, which an autocratic government can use against dissents, so we should stop crafting legislation as if we will rule until Jesus Christ come back, unless we will revert to the Robert Mugabe style of governance.. iron fist.

  • sampson.mamphweli - 2012-03-30 17:18

    The people of SA must take a decision to review the importance of their votes. We seem to be suffering from the boiling frog theory. And in addition we keep repeating the same experiment hoping that the results will differ, in Science we do an experiment three times and if the results dont differ we make a conclusion, yes we did vote them more than three times and our lives never change. Is it it time for real change. Where is Zwelinzima Vavi, Mamphele Ramphele and Thuli Madonsela, I am sure they can offer the country an effective alternative progressive government. We are tired of this one that keeps taking a leaf out of the apartheid government's book.

      Rob - 2012-03-30 19:03

      Here is a do get ordinary people to move away from protest voting? I have a sense that it is not so much that the anc really is the party of choice but rather that the current alternatives are really unacceptable to many. Do you think I could be correct? And if I am what can be done to change it?

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