ANC MPs ordered to National Assembly

2011-11-21 22:48

Cape Town - The ANC has ordered all 264 of its Members of Parliament (MPs) to make sure that they are in the National Assembly at 14:00 on Tuesday to vote in favour of the protection of state information bill.

This as outrage mounted at government's intention to pass the controversial bill.

Several sources have told Beeld that the ANC MPs will have no choice but to vote in favour of the bill.

The votes will be "checked" afterwards and those who don't vote along party lines will be "in big trouble".

"There has been extra pressure on all the MPs to be there - it's expected of all of them to vote in support of the bill," an informed source said.

Another source said there would be no room for a conscience vote and that the ANC wants to use its majority in the National Assembly to pass the bill.

ANC caucus spokesperson Moloto Mothapo confirmed that Tuesday's session was compulsory.

With regard to a conscience vote, Mothapo said the MPs did not represent themselves, but the party.
Apartheid-era repression

The bill encountered a wall of opposition when it was first introduced, with critics calling it a return to apartheid-era repression.

Critics also argue that the bill is at odds with the progressive underpinnings of Protection of Access to Information Act.

The wave of opposition to the contentious piece of proposed legislation gained momentum on Monday, with various groups preparing to stage protests, and a call for from the National Press Club (NPC) for all those opposed to the bill to wear black clothing or a black ribbon or armband in a show of solidarity.

Members of the media and the public are expected to turn up at Parliament and at the ANC headquarters at Luthuli House in Johannesburg wearing black to show their opposition to the bill.

The campaign refers to "Black Wednesday" on October 19 1977 when The World, Sunday World and Christian publication Pro Veritas were banned and almost 20 people or organisations were declared banned by the apartheid government.

"Let's tell the government we are all opposed to censorship. It's crunch time. The nation needs to unite and stop this nonsense," NPC chairperson Yusuf Abramjee said on its Facebook page.

If the bill is passed the media will not be able to claim it acted in the public interest if it violated or was party to the violation of a law, or published classified information to substantiate a report on, for example, malpractice or corruption in government.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has added her voice to the argument too, having written to Speaker Max Sisulu to raise her concerns regarding public complaints she received on the bill, a City Press report says.

According to Madonsela's spokesperson, Kgalalelo Masibi, she decided if the bill was passed into law without the recommended changes she would ask President Jacob Zuma to intervene, the report says.

"She will do all she can to have the letter sent to the speaker before the vote takes place tomorrow [on Tuesday]. But if the bill is passed unaltered then she will write to the president raising the clauses on public interest defence," said Masibi.

Fight against corruption

The SA Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) called for action to ensure the bill did not become law.

In a statement, Samwu said it was concerned that the bill would disadvantage whistle blowers and workers "who are fighting corruption tooth and nail".

"The bill is not ready to be signed into law and is set to negatively impact the noble fight against corruption," said Samwu.

"Samwu has been in the forefront of fighting corruption at municipal level, and long before it was politically acceptable to do so."

If the bill became law, it would not only enable a whole range of municipal documents to be classified as secret, but would also serve to protect those who were "misusing their positions for private and nefarious gain".

This was the battle that all Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) affiliates should engage in.

"We are calling on all Cosatu affiliates to act to ensure that the secrecy bill does not become law and that this should be done in the interest of the public and in the interest of enhancing service delivery to communities," Samwu said.

Constitutional court fight

Various rights organisations, interest groups, opposition parties and Cosatu have threatened to fight the proposed act in the Constitutional Court.

AfriForum deputy CEO Ernst Roets said the organisation had renewed its appeal to President Zuma to refer the bill to the ConCourt for an order as to its constitutionality before it was passed.

AfriForum had already instructed a senior advocate specialising in media law to draw up a legal opinion on the bill's constitutionality.

"There are several reasons why the bill will not pass the test of constitutionality," said Roets.

These included that the bill was, as a whole, vague, complex, and difficult to understand, he said in a statement.

Among other things, the criteria for classifying information were vague and could therefore be applied inconsistently.

They left room for inconsistency in decision-making on the classification of information and the declassification of secret information.

"If this bill is passed, this protection will be practically impossible without a free press and access to information; any claims that South Africa is a healthy democracy will be void of credibility," he said.

  • Xenon1 - 2011-11-21 23:05

    With such universal opposition to this bill how does any ANC MP with any intelligence or conscience vote in favour of it? It boggles the mind how these peoples' collective brain works.

      brettcch - 2011-11-21 23:17

      There's your flawed reasoning right there: "ANC MP" and "intelligence or conscience" are mutually exclusive phenomena.

      John - 2011-11-21 23:30

      The top dog is barking the other dogs into line...

      BA - 2011-11-21 23:33

      ANC MP's will each get a free KFC burger if they vote in favour. QED

      Fred - 2011-11-21 23:34

      Well, the time has come. Goodbye South Africa, hello suburb of Zimbabwe, and colony of China. This country is now wide open to be raped and pillaged so the ANC cronies can all get their piggy snouts in the gravy train trough and steal the country dry. What's next??????? 0 0 | Delete

      TjoPPa - 2011-11-22 00:06

      I bet there is another Egypt or Syria on its way... Count me in... Lets kick some ANC butt

      Sedick - 2011-11-22 00:08

      It is all about self serving, corruption and the MONEY........what intelligence, what conscience, what brain?

      Dirk - 2011-11-22 05:30

      Even now, it is difficult to believe anything that comes from the mouths of the regime. After this bill has been passed, the media must assume that all statements by them are lies,and report on it as such.

      theO rAcLe - 2011-11-22 07:28

      Back to the Future

      herman.brummer - 2011-11-22 07:33

      They simply don`T care what we think, this is all about them, protecting themselves, the public does not matter.

      Stephen - 2011-11-22 07:57

      We don't have a government, we have a gang.

      Rob - 2011-11-22 08:02

      By its very nature a collective has neither brains nor conscience, those attributes are firmly entrenched in the individual. Collective corruption and non-accountability underpin ANC policy and action; a sad day for all who live here because even if the government is eventually forced to withdraw/modify their action this bill has set a new low for governance

      jorg.gurtler - 2011-11-22 08:16

      go to this site NOW!!

      Willie - 2011-11-22 10:24

      They got no back bone they voted for abortion against their will

      lenandiv - 2011-11-22 11:20

      The votes will be "checked" afterwards and those who don't vote along party lines will be "in big trouble". Where is the democracy?????? If anything negative happens in this country the ANC and it's croonies cry 'Apartheid's fault' YET they are repeating history with this Bill. 17 years later and I ask myself... Is South Africa moving forward?????

      cython - 2011-11-22 12:19

      I'll tell you how, they posses neither intelligence nor conscience. Not a brain cell among the lot. Morons.

      Simon - 2011-11-22 14:36

      "Mothapo said the MPs did not represent themselves, but the party." Last time I checked a democracy was a "government by the people for the people" Therefore this freaking idiot Mothapo is wrong on both counts. They do not work for themselves NOR the Party....THEY WORK FOR THE PEOPLE WHO VOTED THEM INTO PARLIAMENT TO REPRESENT THE PEOPLE'S BEST INTERESTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Xenon1 - 2011-11-21 23:08

    The time has come for all opposed to idiocy and lunacy to stand up and let the ruling party know that we are taking back our democracy.

      Stephen - 2011-11-22 08:05

      Next election, the country will still vote ANC in. were a nation of idiocy.

      Fenderbender - 2011-11-22 08:29

      Stephen - Completely right, there are people who still believe their idiocy and lies.

  • Heinrich - 2011-11-21 23:10

    The votes will be "checked" afterwards and those who don't vote along party lines will be "in big trouble". This will show if these MP's love S.A. or love (fear?)the ANC. The Party system is the biggest obstacle in the road to Freedom and Democracy. It must be scrapped and the electoral system overhauled as a matter of urgency.

      Silvana - 2011-11-22 06:03

      That's African democracy for you. Vote for me or else!

      Fenderbender - 2011-11-22 08:31

      This country is so far from a democracy, you dont have to have a university degree to know that.

      Schalk - 2011-11-22 09:42

      This reminds one of the days of Hitler and Stalin, where the "Party" rules, and crossing the "Party" can be a fatal mistake. Are we going there? It seems that the communist ties and sentiment of the ANC are beginning to show at last...

      mastermindpete - 2011-11-22 11:50

      Even the dumb@ss ANC-pf MP's wil believe their vote is not a secret - this is why it is so easy to lead this gang of useless ANC-pf idjotti amazotti - they will believe anything you tell them. I thought voting was a secret, and now you tell me it is not - damn where have I been - DOH !!!!!

  • Jack - 2011-11-21 23:10

    Bye bye Freedom. hello uncertainty . Suddenly I fear the future.

      morneoosthuizen - 2011-11-21 23:26

      Now only? Where were you for the last 4-8 years? This country has gone more and more back since Zuma and his minions took over.

      Van - 2011-11-22 03:07

      You can only blame the idiots that voted 'Yes'. They were warned but choose not to listen. Pity.

      Juan - 2011-11-22 06:43

      When free press are have been crippled you know a country in trouble. Take Zimbabwe as an example. The ANC is there to serve their own agenda, and does not give a stuff about the people of South Africa. It's time for the loyal ANC voters to wake up to that fact.

  • evanknowles - 2011-11-21 23:13

    Well, that doesn't look ominous at all. I'm sure no one is being pressured into doing something by the big boys at all. I'm glad that our freedom of media allows me to express this relief that I'm feeling. Hoo ha.

  • brettcch - 2011-11-21 23:16

    Go on, you band of criminals, go down to parly and gang-vote against the constitution that restored your rights and dignity! Just remember, your children will curse you.

      Heinrich - 2011-11-22 21:57

      I like that, brettcch, a nice picture for Zapiro. A gang bang with mother Freedom.

  • alansmartSnr - 2011-11-21 23:18

    Kgalalelo Masibi or Thuli Madonsela for President !! I have never supported Cosatu or Samwu but this is one time I say "go for it" Lets walk to Pretoria :-).. or even better.. to Cape Town.

      npretorius2 - 2011-11-22 07:56

      Thuli will Save us!! We need more like her in goverment!!

  • Sasha - 2011-11-21 23:19

    So you voted for the ANC in the last election? Well done! You are part of the majority! Now they can steal more of your money and you will not know about it. They can now stuff up the country more and you will not know about it until its too late. Madiba! Its time for you to stand up and oppose this ANC, because its no longer the ANC you fought for. If you stand up the rest of the country will stand behind you!

      my10cent - 2011-11-22 07:52

      @Sasha,will Madiba realy oppose the ANC and, who realy knows what he stands for? Maybe he is even smiling right now?

  • Jaba - 2011-11-21 23:19

    Black Wednesday = Black Tuesday so sad we dont learn from history...

      Sean - 2011-11-21 23:24


  • Heinrich - 2011-11-21 23:28

    No wonder Zuma suddenly became so bold-sacking people, suspending people, setting up a commission of inquiry into the arms deal-he is very confident of the blanketing power of this secrecy act. And these pathetic ANC MP's are expected to follow like sheep. Shame! I wonder if there is one of them that can think for itself.

      Gary - 2011-11-22 07:01

      I don't think they are like sheep. I think they would all vote willingly in favour of it. How many of those MP's do you think are NOT involved in some corrupt activity and would thus not be happy to have protection from this being exposed.

      Oukaapje - 2011-11-22 12:19

      And we all thought we would see the honest patriotic side of President Zuma and a complete reformation of the ANC. Next I was expecting Mr Zuma to resign and hand himself over to the Hawks for prosecution. How short was our euphoria! I must stop smoking that weed.

  • Janneman27 - 2011-11-21 23:31

    I have to say, this would probably be the only time (thus far) I've been inclined to agree with COSATU and SAMWU...this crazy bill needs to be stopped...what are the ANC trying to hide?!?!?! This should spark international cause for concern...amandla ngawethu, brothers!

  • Motho - 2011-11-21 23:39

    If black and white South Africans are united as in this case all the time for the good of the country then South Africa will be like heaven!

  • Janneman27 - 2011-11-21 23:41

    ¦¦¦¦ ¦¦ ¦¦¦¦¦!!! ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦ ¦ ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦¦¦¦ ¦¦¦¦¦!!!

  • chris.khanye - 2011-11-21 23:42

    Why would an employee be called to come to work? The debate continues, where does the loyalty of all MPs, MPLs and Cllrs lie? Are we right to call them Public Representatives or they must be referred to as Party Representatives?

  • Adam - 2011-11-21 23:42

    This will surely be a moment to remember.Imagine all the ANP members actually in parliament.I wonder what their total IQ is?

      Gerda - 2011-11-22 00:02

      Hope its broadcasted live on tv - want to see how many of those fat cats are sleeping on duty.

      Sheldon - 2011-11-22 06:22

      0+0+0x100 = 0

      ivan.leon2 - 2011-11-22 07:40

      What a pity we do not have a 'Guy Fawkes and his Gunpowder Plot' here in SA today......

  • cliff.slabbert - 2011-11-21 23:59

    The ANC government is a stumbling,flailing and "running scared" band of thugs. They are decaying from within by corruption and their strongest 'antibiotic' is the Secrecy Bill. Unfortunately their internal festering is beyond repair! The good people of South Africa will prevail against all odds and we will be a country of freedom of expression and a country free of oppression of any kind.

  • TjoPPa - 2011-11-22 00:06

    I bet there is another Egypt or Syria on its way... Count me in... Lets kick some ANC butt

  • werner.smidt - 2011-11-22 00:07

    Well, there's actually nothing we can do. I don't think any of us is cunning enough to get something going that will have the desired effect. Bottom line, you stick your head out . . it'll get chopped off. You'd be surprised how quickly self-preservation sets in. No, I'm not cynical, it's just the truth.

  • Ronald - 2011-11-22 00:18

    "With regard to a conscience vote, Mothapo said the MPs did not represent themselves, but the party". With this phrase, Mothapo proves beyond reasonable doubt required in a court of law that the ANC regards itself above the people who voted then into government, not power, you idiots. I hope that the MP's realise that they are supposed to represent the people of this country through the presently corrupt ANC, and that they might answer to the ANC in the short term, but in the long term have to answer to the people. Remember, recently a mob tried to burn the house of a ex-council member because of the inadequate job she did or something in that vain, and she was still in the house! The same scenario could, and hopefully will, play out when the voters finally wipe the crud off that the government plasters over their common sense. This might sound melodramatic, but the ANC commits treason with every one of these self serving acts, as the only ones benefiting from this are the officials, not the country or the man on the street. The people that do not brave the weather to attend the marches against this bill deserve what they get, for they have fought, bled and died and won against much more than the present corrupt government. The people of SA deserve better.

      Observer - 2011-11-22 00:42

      It is time to march to war and end this overbearing tyranny and ineptitude...rise up South Africa and take back what is rightfully yours....your government, your freedom, your liberty.....

      theO rAcLe - 2011-11-22 07:21

      The ones giving thumbs down must be some of those MP's that have to report at 2pm....

      cliff.slabbert - 2011-11-22 10:04

      Treason is the correct charge to be brought against the ANC - well said Ronald!!!

  • sefaratk - 2011-11-22 00:45

    What is the difference between the ANC led government and The P W Botha led government. So early in our democracy but already our government is having secrets...No wonder the level of corruption is forever going up instead of down. What happened to be accountable to one's actions?...

      theO rAcLe - 2011-11-22 07:25

      Back to the Future

  • TamaraSays - 2011-11-22 00:51

    fascist much?

  • Getafix - 2011-11-22 00:53

    So they are all in the national assembly. The whole lot, in one building. And at a certain time. Can the US please have a malfunctioning satellite with flammable rocket fuel please crash into that specific building. I'm sure the people will unite and build a free and fair country together.

      Adam - 2011-11-22 02:23

      It is a nice thought..

  • aardvarkie - 2011-11-22 00:56

    The secrecy act will be passed just in time to save their butts from the arms deal investigation no doubt. I sense troubled times ahead, and I'm not even psychic.

  • Adam - 2011-11-22 02:04

    This new NP should learn from the old NP. What happens after this is (more) disinvestment,and sanctions,riots etc.. until the ANP is voted out. It may be sooner than one thinks, as they are clearly cracking up. Mac interview was great, it allowed one to see how they lie, although he did a bit of squirming.It is clear the ANC is now the enemy of its own people, and must be driven out.

  • pierre.hough1 - 2011-11-22 04:43

    The clearest sign of a political party in dire straits ... on the brink of collapse!

  • Gerhardus - 2011-11-22 05:05

    Moving towards a Police State, run by putting fear and threats to people who stands against their corrupt and immoral ways. It is so obvious it isnt even funny. Atleast there were some ppl in Apartheid who knew wrong when they saw it. You as a member and supporter should be ashamed of youself and know that you are cowards for abusing this Bill.

  • Tom - 2011-11-22 05:38

    @BA I heard it was a chip roll and coke.

  • Fawzia - 2011-11-22 05:43

    dictatortship is just rearing its ugly head.

  • braamc - 2011-11-22 06:01

    God, to get those thieving useless MP things either out of bed or at work already challenging. Here's comes fun, don't think this is the end of media freedom!

  • Sheldon - 2011-11-22 06:11

    The media groups put the ANC in power at the time so now stop crying and take the brunt you fools.

  • Silvana - 2011-11-22 06:13

    This tells me that the ANC are in a PANIC to bulldoze this bill through before the arms deal enquiry starts. There must be so much dirty laundry there. Their childish deviousness makes it all the more transparant. The ANC in power is like a child playing with dynamite. Trouble is, when it blows up, what then?

  • michael.e.bowery - 2011-11-22 06:15

    The urgency of this vote is simply to be able to suppress evidence in the so called `Arms Deal Commission of Inquiry, and the corruptions which is endemic with this government and it's administration.

  • braamc - 2011-11-22 06:16

    According to Madonsela's spokesperson, Kgalalelo Masibi, she decided if the bill was passed into law without the recommended changes she would ask President Jacob Zuma to intervene, the report says. - He signs it off, off course the thieves can't wait for the implementation of the bill. We will fight it

  • braamc - 2011-11-22 06:18

    @John More likely: If they had one more brain cell, they will be able to bark!

  • Sheldon - 2011-11-22 06:20

    All you lot here voted for freedom now suck on it Dark Africa...

  • marina.poniatowska - 2011-11-22 06:25

    To rape, pillage and steal as much as they can. On the bright side, we'll only have good news daily to report!!!

  • Niki - 2011-11-22 06:38

    It appears that the ANC regards suppressing freedom of speech as the most important step it has yet taken.

  • Adriaan - 2011-11-22 06:44

    Nothing will come of it!

  • Ian - 2011-11-22 06:48

    commie corrupt bastards

  • Derk - 2011-11-22 06:48

    ANC = 264 Members Of Parliament = what do they all do?

      Ian - 2011-11-22 06:52

      they all have there fat ugly snouts in the trough, thats what they do

  • tacod - 2011-11-22 06:49

    The mere fact that the ANC is ignoring the fact that they are actually accountable to the people of South Africa is enough for them to force this bill through to be signed into law. They do not want the people that actually pay their salaries to know how much they are stealing from the state coffers. The moment this bill comes into effect, the controversial arms deal will be classified as the investigation will implicate people like Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, Jakob Zuma, Lindiwe Sesulu, Winnie MAndela and most of the top ANC members. Is this the way that the ANC plans to kill South Africa? Back to the National Party days this country shall return and the transparency of the government that they promised in 1994 will be gone for ever to protect a criminal national, provincial and local governments. I suggest that the people of South Africa stand as one and demand that the ruling ANC be held accountable for their actions and if not, all be fired by proxy.

      tacod - 2011-11-22 07:06

      If the media is not allowed to report on the wrong doings of the government, it is in my view that they should then also not report on the right doings or even report on any election material supplied to them by the ANC as it will be disinformation to get voters to vote for them. I say the media should black out any reporting on the ANC if this bill is passed.

      Never-apologize - 2011-11-22 12:06

      And surely they only need to report on what the DA gives them, how balanced is your thinking, i wonder!

  • Elle-Black - 2011-11-22 06:50

    This is truly unfortunate

  • treatwell - 2011-11-22 06:57

    I hope the people of S.A think long and hard before casting their votes in the next elections, if we don't stand up and fight they'll keep bending us over. Egyt did it, Libya did it, Why can't we?

  • swavka - 2011-11-22 06:57

    If you vote you will get your Christmas Bonus - if not don't come back.

  • sas.kloppers - 2011-11-22 06:59

    Moloto Mothapo is totally wrong. MP's represent the PEOPLE and not the party. This is the problem with the ANC and Government today. They think they ARE the people! That's why we keep getting the middle finger from them!!!!

  • Gavin - 2011-11-22 07:03

    its a total joke!! our government is practically admitting that they are a corrupt and useless sap on the rest of us, they have become a festering boil on the side of our beautiful country and i think the straw is about to break the camel's back, i cant wait for the day the country turns around and gives these greedy bastards the finger and then the boot!! ironically, it could be the best thing to happen to this country, i just hope we dont hit rock bottom before it happens

  • kosmonooit - 2011-11-22 07:04

    Reflects the pitiful and pathetic level of politicians we have 'representing' us, if they can block vote on such a retrogressive and repressive law.

  • malcolm - 2011-11-22 07:05

    Something that is so crucial to South Africans, cannot be left to the ANC to decide on. In a democracy, something so important must be left up to the people to decide. We have to have a referendum. Its the only answer.

  • Gregory Jurgens - 2011-11-22 07:05

    Why don't they just legalize government corruption . Instead of hiding behind legal clap trap crap.

  • Edith - 2011-11-22 07:06

    Where is Vusi?

      shazyrat - 2011-11-22 09:21

      I also miss Vusi - he always makes so much sense.