Cosatu ready to challenge info bill

2012-03-29 14:45

Cape Town - Cosatu would be first in line to challenge the protection of state information bill in the Constitutional Court it became law, general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Thursday.

In its present form the legislation would put South Africa on its way back to becoming a police state, he told MPs in Cape Town.

Vavi said the much-changed version of the draft law passed by the National Assembly last year still raised the spectre of widespread classification of information to conceal corruption.

He said the scope of the bill was too wide, the penalties it imposed disproportionate and the potential impact on South Africa's democratic values devastating.

Threat of police state

"It has the threat of entrenching a security state. We will roll back the clock to where we come from - a police state," he told a third day of public hearings on the so-called "secrecy bill" at the National Council of Provinces.

Vavi said the bill was ripe for constitutional challenge on several counts.

Clause 4 (1) sought to usurp the Protection of Access to Information Act and Clause 43 reversed the onus of proof on those accused of publishing classified information.

"We have said if these types of clauses go through then we will be left with no choice but to approach the Constitutional Court," he said.

"We will be the first to arrive there. Our lawyers are standing very ready to do so."

Violates Constitution

Veteran human rights lawyer George Bizos, appearing on behalf of the Legal Resources Centre, also argued that the bill violated the Constitution.

He urged MPs to refer the bill to the Constitutional Court.

If MPs passed it in its current form "there will be a very long queue of applicants to take the president, the minister of justice to court", Bizos warned.

Vavi said he found succour in the fact that Nelson Mandela's former defence lawyer shared his views on the bill.

"It gives us comfort that you are in the same corner," he said.

  • Michaele - 2012-03-29 14:55

    Viva Vavi

  • Johana - 2012-03-29 15:02

    Hm. Vavi got his peace of e-tolling. Now wants more? Let me guess, he takes people on the streets, few days later ANC calls hem to secret meeting, and Vavi goes quiet.

      kooveng - 2012-03-29 15:06

      Agreed. As soon as he get's his cut.. He won't resurface until there's another deal his not apart of..

      Cpo - 2012-03-29 16:07

      I've indicated earlier today that COSATU have been sorted out regarding e-tolls,lets see going forward how its gonna be>>>>

      Alan - 2012-03-29 16:08

      hmmmm - Cosatu has gone quiet on E-Tolls! Wonder what the latest deal 'under the counter' is.

      Irene - 2012-03-29 16:37

      Johana ~ That's exactly what I said after the meeting. I'd love to know how much they shoved into Vavi's back pocket.

      Sedick - 2012-03-29 18:01

      Maybe a Premiership - ala Shilowa, or Minsister - ala Jay.......

  • kooveng - 2012-03-29 15:03

    Shut up Vavi...he complains only when it suits him.. Yet Vavi will be first in line to vote these fools back in.. his like an abused wife that keeps going back to his husband... Our Governments mentality: The "secrecy bill", ammending our Constitution, E-Tolling etc. . " It's too hard to stop corruption, so let's just hide it by passing a law to make it illegal to blow a whistle on us. People might not agree with this, so let's change the Constitution so they have no choice. Let's not use the taxes they pay to fix the roads, let's rather put up a toll, they can pay for it again" ...

      Linda - 2012-03-29 15:25

      Kooveng, I have no problem with your sentiments regarding Vavi. However please don't compare him to "an abused wife that keeps going back to his husband." You obviously have no understanding of spousal abuse.

      Cpo - 2012-03-29 16:37

      @Kooveng,eish u know sometimes you have to understand how politics work>>>>>

      alansmartSnr - 2012-04-05 02:09

      Reading these comments, my take on this is that we are judging Vavi too soon wihout realy digging deeper into the proceedings that Cosatu was involved with. It is a fact that they had no idea of their investment and shares in the e-toll fiasco. It is a fact that they invested in these roads when they were building them for the soccer circus and when there was no mention of the roads they built were to be tolled. It is a fact that since this information was given to him by the ANC he aggresivly instructed that no more tenders would be submitted to any roads that the authorities planned to toll in future. I dont like Cosatu's attitude towards business but give credit where credit is due...and they are helping to unite everybody, black,green,pink yellow white in this fiasco.. and most important of all.. they have no precedents of any corruption in there dealings with anybody..On the contrary..they are responsible for bringing a lot of corruption of the ruling party to the into the public Failure of delivery in most municipalities, various ignored court orders which have been ignored by the provinces - Teachers come to mind and are a current issue which they are confronting the Government with. We need their support and toi toi-ing against the Secrecy Bill as well as the e-toll system, which I predict can and will be made unmanageable with their and our joint actions. For once lets join hands with them, it's in everybody's interest to stand together on this.

  • cosmos.ndebele - 2012-03-29 15:03

    FF should organise protest marches in tandem with Cosatu instead of the segregated farce that they attempted this morning. Cosatu stands for a lot of good!!!

      Templeton - 2012-03-29 16:09

      That ain't gonna happen bra.

      alansmartSnr - 2012-03-31 01:38

      @ cosmos.ndebele.. I agree with you totally. Cosatu has at this point more power than this corrupt goverment and at least their leaders seem to be more in touch with the will of the people. All they have to do is to call a strike every week for two days - preferably mondays and tuesdays, This would bring the goverment to it's knees within a few weeks and their members will still be able to survive on the pay for a while. I dont particulary like the Unions and I wouldn't toi-toi but this concerns us all and we should do everything possible to bring the motto of "government for the people, by the people" into reality. Gone will be the State Information Bill and the E-toll system and bring back a bit of reality to those Fat Cat that they are where they are to serve and not to dictate. It sounds so simple.. it is so simple.. Power is useless unless it's used and lets face it.. They have the power !!

  • Den - 2012-03-29 15:06

    hey, no race stories here, this bill affects us all.....

  • Marion - 2012-03-29 15:08

    It gives me comfort too...

  • Cassandra Olivier - 2012-03-29 15:10

    Zuma just wants to protect himself

  • Mirrorman - 2012-03-29 15:12

    Just a thought/question... why doesn't Mandela stand up and say something about all this?? I am sure he must be cringing with the current going ons... I think that his voice is very much needed at this point in time...

      mzijimmym - 2012-03-29 15:34

      Please accept that the old man has retired from public life by the he said that he was not the messiah!

      Brad.Kopping - 2012-03-29 15:36

      He's very old and frale, the dude is 93 i think? i think he's done all he can do for our will be up to us, not the govenment...but it's citizens to fight the evil within the ANC and stand up for what is right. although madiba knows that the ANC is no longer where it used to be and most of its qualities have been corrupted, there is only so much he can do for us. We must stand up for ourselves and fight for what we believe in...just like mandela did.

      Marion - 2012-03-29 15:46

      Nelson Mandela withdrew from public life years ago. He has more than earned the right to be left in peace in his sunset years.

      Templeton - 2012-03-29 16:15

      I warned you not to vote for Zuluboy, now y'all crying

      Luviwe - 2012-03-29 18:25

      Worried about armsdeal comission.

  • Scouter - 2012-03-29 15:14

    I'm beginning to think that they actually log on to the comments reflected on this site. Most comments, not all though, eminate from tax paying pissed-off voters(black,white,coloured, and whatever else there is left in the mix that we long ago learnt not to differentiate - despite all our own personal upbringings). Bad news for you ANC - all of the above grouping have had enough of you. No more spin, no more recollections of the past, no more passing the blame, no more upliftment to a few, no more anything of anything you have to offer. You are slowly being found out and that circle of justice will most certanly come around. Many dictators thought they were untouchable - but history proved them wrong, in every case - and that history is being updated daily. Sad to say that those who really can make a difference have already made plans to leave you to your own devices. If they have not, then they are blind fools.

      Arnotte Payne - 2012-03-29 15:57

      Thanks 4 da wise words but its not blacks, whites, colourds and whatever. the whateva is Indians. u wldnt appreciate 2 b refferd to as a whateva. and im glad u opening ur eyes 2 the treacherous fasard of the ANC, wat nxt tho

      Scouter - 2012-03-29 16:33

      Arnotte - fxt f i no wat nxt. Damn, I just wrote cretan speak(I think I did at least) - forgive the poor grammar, one and all.

  • bluzulu - 2012-03-29 15:19

    Go Vavi, Stand up for RSA rights even if not all agree with COSATU.

      Scouter - 2012-03-29 15:35

      Easy to say from a far off shore - Stuck into the Frosty Fosters? You obviously feel so committed to a South African democracy - why don't you come come back and actually really fight for a cause. Waster close to being a Troll.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-03-29 15:56

      @Scouter, you have no friends on Facebook, no photo's other then a profile pic - I would say YOU the troll?

      Scouter - 2012-03-29 16:14

      For which there is good reason, Point Blank. Pistol shot?

      Scouter - 2012-03-29 16:23

      PS PointBlank - that means waster in military terms

      Scouter - 2012-03-29 16:25

      Just thought you should know that before you get out of your depth.

      Scouter - 2012-03-29 16:50

      Feel free to respond - most of us are not shy.

      Scouter - 2012-03-29 16:59

      Oh, by the way PointBlank(wannabee waster), A Facebook rating is hardly a verification of one's esteemed worth. Have you ever thought of going to a library and reading a book?

  • Toofaan - 2012-03-29 15:30

    Well done Vavi/COSATU. Both for the protest against e-tolling and the secrecy bill. One really has to wonder how many voices it takes for the government to listen to the people that they are supposed to be serving.

  • Tsietsi - 2012-03-29 15:30

    Vavi should tell us what transpired in that secret meeting so that we can trust him going forward, because we were with him during the march. Unless he is also taking us for fools like our fellow comrades in the anc.

  • mzijimmym - 2012-03-29 15:31

    Viva Vavi!Thanks for always championing the cause of the downtrodden.May the Lord you along the best pathway for your life.May he always advise and watch over you.

  • Brad.Kopping - 2012-03-29 15:33


  • Wayne - 2012-03-29 15:34

    Well said Vavi! Now make peace with the madam in the Western Cape and lets get down to building this country.

  • Matthew - 2012-03-29 15:37

    @ Mirrorman: Dude i would agree with you.but he's way too old now i mean,my gran is 93 going on 94,and its not pretty =/ and even with millions at ur disposal for any kind of comforts to make life easier,its still very old.he's getting more and more frail and tired etc. And dont get me wrong,i love him,and would love him to stand up and put these "small boys" (as julius would say) back into order.but I kind of feel/understand that he may just wanna chill out for now,rest,retire and watch etc. And even so,everyone is nagging or bugging him to do this and that.i honestly wonder if he gets enough time to just sit down and relax.without anyone bothering him for something. But hey,wouldnt that be something,just imagine....front page headlines "Mandela Has Had enough" or ""Mandela puts things back in order!" or something like that.would be amazing

  • stalin.rudolf - 2012-03-29 15:44

    somehow i do not fully trust Consatu, just talk talk talk then lets go to bed honey(anc)just why continue in a relationship with someone when you have nothing in common.

      Malusi - 2012-03-29 16:08

      It is a good thing to share views, like Cosatu and ANC. They have lot of things that are common, but where they differ, they must have ways of engaging each other around table. Their relationship is healthy, as no one want to be a puppet.

  • David - 2012-03-29 15:52

    THEY MUST ANSWER ONE QUESTION. THEY MUST GIVE A VALID, and LIGIT ANSWER AS TO WHY THE ANC IS TRYING TO DETROY SOUTH AFRICA AND ALSO WHY THE ANC IS TRYING OT TURN SOUTH AFRICA INTO A POLICE STATE? Ligit and valid answers required. They are destroying this country. DOES the ANC want South Africa to be and get as poor as Zimbabwe or other African countries?? DO they want to be hit with trade embargoes,and restrictions, and boycots against us by other countries? WHY?

      David - 2012-03-29 15:59

      What a waste. Cosatu, why don't you just abandon the ANC as a partner. They don't care, you will lose in the END if you continue. All you will get is policed information, policed people, policed state, and eventually civil war. What will you get from that? Let ANC fall, let them see the error of their ways. They will not learn unless they are taught the lesson.

      David - 2012-03-29 16:12

      Oh yes. I forgot to say. Cosatu does not leave the ANC umbrella, because the ANC is Cosatus's master. Cosatu follows orders very well under the ANC like a good little doggie.

  • Dhavandran - 2012-03-29 16:07

    really? the end of the day it will be like you said it that you found succour in the fact that nelson mandela's former defence laywer shares your views, and thats what its going to be. nothing but people sharing your views.the proof will be when you actually bite your master's hand, maybe then i will take you and cosatu seriously.

  • tobydt - 2012-03-29 16:29

    Damn, Vavi has finally stopped licking the baws of the ANC.

  • Morne - 2012-03-29 16:34

    No use making a noise COSATU, this needs to be countered by law!

  • Bibi - 2012-03-29 17:43

    No use, Zuma's tentacles are everywhere.

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