Access to info vital for poor - judge

2012-01-30 15:34

Cape Town - Freedom of expression and access to information are vitally important in countries where poverty exists, a Swedish supreme court judge said in Cape Town on Monday.

Goran Lambertz said during a discussion on the protection of state information bill that giving people the freedom to access information created a culture of honesty and prevented corruption.

"The issue of freedom of expression and access to information is so important to any country where there is poverty," he said.

"It is a matter of promoting honesty and preventing unjust enrichment in a country... Therefore, this is so important."

Lambertz said the small number of poor people in Sweden were not nearly as good in fighting for their rights as a lot of South Africans were.

"You have a good tradition in that," he said.

Lambertz said penalising people for possessing information was "difficult".

A journalist's job was to spend large amounts of time wading through large amounts of information, he said.

"That is what a journalist does every day. He needs to take a decision to publish or not. Penalising people because they possess information that is classified is difficult."

  • Kala - 2012-01-30 15:45

    I would have thought access to information is vital to everybody not just the poor. Could I have been so wrong???

      goyougoodthing - 2012-01-30 16:57

      I agree and I don't mean to be funny, but what will our poor and illiterate do with this information exactly?

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