ANC bows to pressure over info bill

2012-05-10 20:31

Cape Town - The ruling party bowed to pressure on the protection of state information bill on Thursday, proposing a raft of changes that critics of the bill have demanded over the past two years.

These included a compromise on a public interest defence clause as a way of protecting journalists and whistleblowers who risk prison to expose state wrongdoing.

ANC members of the National Council of Provinces committee processing the bill proposed that section 43, which criminalises revealing classified information, made an explicit exception for cases where "such disclosure reveals criminal activity".

They also moved to amend section 49 of the draft act, which has been widely criticised for criminalising the disclosure of any information relating to the work of the intelligence services.

The proposed change would make it a crime only in cases where the information had in any event been classified.

These two sections were among those singled out for criticism by Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi in a submission to Parliament last month, when he threatened to challenge the bill in the Constitutional Court unless it were rewritten.

The climb-down came hours after State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele told reporters he would welcome any initiatives that would help the bill to pass constitutional muster.

  • George - 2012-05-10 20:36

    Very Good

      Squeegee - 2012-05-10 20:41

      About time. Finally the ANC is starting to get it: the citizens of SA have had enough.

      Gestoffle - 2012-05-10 20:54

      @Tamaranui/bluzulu - I believe these were the imminent changes that you were talking about....Shame, ANC has left you out to dry again! comment 1 from another forum: Tamaranui - May 10, 2012 at 13:22 "Media regulating their own is the cause of the irresponsible behaviour. This will change soon. " comment 2 from another forum: Tamaranui - May 10, 2012 at 13:17 "Media regulated by Media will change soon,"

      Oscar - 2012-05-10 20:58

      The wheels are coming off fast now under public pressure.

      Kala - 2012-05-10 21:37

      I would like to see them crack under pressure and finaly break down completely

      Press - 2012-05-10 23:38

      We the people . . . .

      alansmartSnr - 2012-05-11 00:35

      Jeepers Tamaranui, Your about as clumsy as an 3 week old baby, fumbling for her mothers teat. You know as well as I that the Zuma ouk was only saved from an embarrising exsposure cos the conspiracy to get him elected for President. He was litteraly saved by the gong! " From Purified water in your taps" - you say - you just dont know how foul the water is in our taps -so much so that we often have to by "clean and purified water" - and millions of people outback still have to go to rivers and scoop muddy water for domestic use.. but your dream or ignorance goes further. "This transformation is most apparent at the lower end of the socio-economic ladder hence you are not aware." - you are as bad as the rest and "bullcjitien" yourself. - Everyday we hear and exsperience burning tyres and rocks in roads, crowds marching in protest against "black outs of electricity, water, corruption and nepotism with regard to RDP houses, (which fall apart anyhow) and general disregard to basic living conditions. How the hell can you even contemplate making such a stupid and obvious lie.

      alansmartSnr - 2012-05-11 00:36

      And then you go on:". More RSA children are being educated, More people have an actual home(This means everything to most people) and all the other upgrading of living standards." --are you retarded or something.? Since 1994 all teachers training colleges were closed. Almost 4000 tempory teachers services were ended, all nursing training colleges were closed. The sucess rate of matriculants dropped by 53%.(I will acknowledge that in 18 year the government has been playing a catch-up game and has now eventually exeeded that number) You say:"considering RSA has only had 18 years on it's feet." That is a flippin long, long time to fix a well run country (even with apartheid which I never voted for anyhow) after destroying it's infrastructure and raping the taxpayers contribution from 1995 up to -date. Madam - with due are either very very dumb or just plain to stubborn to acknowledge that we have some good cops in the lower order but the top echolon, including their supreme commander is just a bunch of corrupt thieves and, like Idi Amin, they should be wearing Pepsi Cola badges in stead of "Genetal Pips

      alansmartSnr - 2012-05-11 00:41

      Sorry.. this was just an answer to some dumb broad who was boasting about how exelent the government were doing for the people.. I got deleted last night..

      Peter - 2012-05-11 08:10

      @alansmartSnr - Well debated! Had to try explain the same thing yesterday to Tamaranui. Funny how their comment disappeared, maybe Tamaranui finally realized how very wrong he/she/troll was

      Boer - 2012-05-17 01:35

      Why dont the dum ANC bow out.???

  • chssmidt - 2012-05-10 20:42

    I got a feeling chance is cumming

      Kolobe - 2012-05-10 22:05

      vavi should soon run the country,no wonder the madam wants him in bed

      Press - 2012-05-10 23:35

      @Kolobe - you missed the "i" in run.

      alansmartSnr - 2012-05-11 00:31

      Well, well well.. score now Toll - citizens 2 - Gov. O Information Bill - Citizens 1 - Gov. 0 ..This is how it should be..Be ruled by the people, for the people.. Bravo again for Modensela, Vavi, DA, Afriforum and all others that united once again to prevent this dictorial mode of government by the corrupters, thieves and Fat Cat

  • Vic - 2012-05-10 20:43

    Great news, but why has the bill taken so long to amend?

  • Bless Boswell - 2012-05-10 20:48

    I think the ANC is now embarrassed that so much cr*p has been exposed that they realize how guilty the bill makes them look. Let us not forget that there is an election coming up and they need to at least look like they are attempting to put things right. Do not be fooled. This is probably just window dressing.

  • Crracker - 2012-05-10 20:51

    No. Not good enough. Plain improper and suspicious actions must also be revealed and reported on. How can it be expected that a journalist or source must be able to evaluate the full situation and make a lawyers decision whether it is a criminal matter? Think onus and think the ease with which a deplorable action or situation can be kept a secret just because it is not criminal. Late payment of pensions or delivery of school books is NOT a criminal offense. So paper it and it is a document of secrecy. We are seeing the typical pressure followed by a so-called compromise situation. Clarity is needed. Not speculation on the part of the media and other prospective victims. Imagine how easily it would be to prevent publication or revelation based on the pure possibility that it MAY not be a criminal offence that is being reported on. Please, South Africans, don't fall for this. Back to the drawing board but better still: Scrap the whole idea. We are all owners of this land and its events. Nobody should be allowed to take away our co-ownership of even the events that some now want to hide from us through censorship and jail time. If someone in custody for example is denied access to lawyers or his/her political party/trade union, would that amount to a criminal offence? No, but they (the secrecy fiends) would be able to have the journalist punished for it and of course also the whistle blower. Or am I missing something important. Would like to hear what it is.

  • Bertus - 2012-05-10 20:51

    First the E-tolls and now the Info bill...that's right SA, we the people CAN make a difference and demand a government that listens to its people. After demolishing this bill's unacceptable consequences to our righs, I say we tackle the corruption of those in the public sector, once and for all!

      Vic - 2012-05-11 06:51

      Bertus, couldn't agree with you more!

  • mudzungap - 2012-05-10 20:54

    corruption proffesors...greedy nd selfish

  • Crracker - 2012-05-10 20:56

    Once again the deviousness comes to the fore. If you are not in the position to prove criminal activity (which they will not allow you to do) your are effectively silenced. A suspicion will not be enough. No, anybody with some common imagination can sense where this is heading to.

  • elewies - 2012-05-10 20:56

    This issue and the e-tolling really unified most South-Africans... Good to know that we can get over ourselves every now and again and do what is best for the country

  • Mark - 2012-05-10 21:17

    Putting a lambs head on the face of a wolf that is to guard the house of ANC impropriety.

  • songezo.kilani - 2012-05-10 21:26

    Listen to that bastard Siyabonga Cwele's statement, he just wants to protect his criminal wife. If he had any morals he should have resigned ages ago. No where to hide now for criminals within the government.

      Sihle - 2012-05-10 22:14

      Was it necessary to use the word bastard? Its people like you with limited vocab and airheads who can't get their point across without using swear words.

      tobydt - 2012-05-11 00:01

      Bastard and a scumbag. And his queenie, found guilty of being part of a drug smuggling ring, is still a free gal, and fighting for her job.

      alansmartSnr - 2012-05-11 02:14

      ..@ St. Sihle.. is it ignorance or were you just born retarded.. Bastard is an acknowledge english word meaning "Male born out of wedlock". It may be derogatory but it certainly does give effect to such a questionable charater in question.. in fact methinks he deserves a much cruder name.

  • Adam - 2012-05-10 21:27

    This is not enough,we want a transparent governance, or get out.

      Adam - 2012-05-10 21:32

      This compromise would not have stopped e-tolling, ALL OR NOTHING.

  • Tumisang - 2012-05-10 21:28

    Its not bowing to pressure just a sign that indeed the ANC is concerned with the citizens of this country and are listening to electorate....democracy in action.

      Jean - 2012-05-10 21:50

      Ja what ever anc suck up... If they cared so much why did they want to rush the bill in the first place?! Why did certain parties threaten them with court action!! They are not concerned about SA citizens, they are concerned that their corrupt ways will be exposed!

      Theo - 2012-05-10 21:58

      What r u smoking ... The ANC concerned about the citizens !! If the citizens didnt stand up to the ANC and their corrupt policies do you honestly think they would have back tracked ? Cant believe that there is still people trusting that the ANC is doing any good. Most bills they try to pass dont standup in court, service delivery is non existend in most towns, corruption is the order of the day, many appointments made by our Presdent is outight rejected by all, stupid decisions like E-Tolls is costing the country billions in losses.... Eish and you think they are conserned about the citizens or competend ?

  • johan.opperman1 - 2012-05-10 21:33

    Interesting, second issue now where everybody is up in arms, protesting, going to court etc. Yet when Vavi asks, Vavi gets. Is the COSATU faction growing stronger/bigger in the ANC alliance, or is the ANC giving in to COSATU demands realizing that they're close to losing the support of COSATU?

      songezo.kilani - 2012-05-10 21:56

      Very true sir, Vavi made himself clear a long time ago that he will never protect criminals and rapist in court again, so the allaince is hanging by a thread

      Wendy Bennett - 2012-05-10 22:23

      I am getting the same impression, could he be the next president??? Is that where he is headed????.

      alansmartSnr - 2012-05-11 02:22

      ..Vavi for President..or give him a case of Bells. Seems he's the only politian in the triad with a bit of sense and plenty of balls..or is it bells?

  • trudiroos.potter - 2012-05-10 21:38

    Tande getrek!

  • Grant - 2012-05-10 21:38

    Well done ANC. I'll give credit where credit is due; however, this whole shabangle wouldn't have had to happen in the first place if this joke of a bill wasn't introduced.

  • Gerda Malherbe - 2012-05-10 21:39

    Ag asseblief! And the tooth fairy REALLY exists as well !

  • Jacques - 2012-05-10 22:01

    We'll see... I'm relieved for the direction they're heading in, but let's not be overly happy and scrutinise them any less. There still are some shady loopholey stuff, but kudos for democracy!

  • ESETHU_HASANE - 2012-05-10 22:19

    Thankyou VAVI

  • tobydt - 2012-05-10 23:43

    Good news indeed. Seems all the time I put into matter this hasnt been wasted. No mat/poi, no debate.

  • Stephen - 2012-05-11 07:48

    South Africa : Biggest industries : Crime, Corruption and Stupidity ; Biggest Import : Criminals and organised crime; Biggest Export : Qualified and competent White professionals and artisans..............bottom line.

  • Burtfred - 2012-05-11 08:08

    First the E-tolling and now the info bill. It appears Vavi is running the country. Everything he demands, the ANC agree to.

  • i2meleng - 2012-05-11 08:56

    Good news, at least someone used their brain for a change.

  • Chris - 2012-05-11 09:18

    Eye Blind people......Eye blind.

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