DA: Motshekga doesn't understand

2012-04-04 22:23

Johannesburg - The ANC Chief Whip's support for the Protection of State Information Bill advert shows a misunderstanding of the role of Parliament and the separation of powers, says the DA.

Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said on Wednesday: "Mathole Motshekga's support for the department of state security propaganda campaign gave an insight into the real purpose of the advert in the first place.

"[Their aim] is to conjure up support for a bill which the ANC has failed to garner support for, and which has been flatly rejected by the South African people."

Mazibuko reiterated it was a serious violation of the separation of powers for the executive to use state resources to push for support for a bill which was still being considered by Parliament.

"In effect, the department of state security is using public money in an attempt to convince South Africans of what the ANC has failed to do over the last year."

Mazibuko was responding to comments by Motshekga, who earlier on Wednesday said the DA's complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) earlier this week about the advert was "absurd and ridiculous".

Motshekga said: "It is silly for the DA to regard this exercise as a violation of the principle of separation of powers. The department is merely educating South Africans on the facts around the bill, not influencing or meddling in the parliamentary process."

While public consultation had taken place, albeit with limited resources, the state security department's intervention "in this public educational process should be welcomed.


"One of the problems that "have been lamented about from time to time by the majority of stakeholders involved in the bill's process has been the lack of or limited knowledge pertaining to the objectives and intentions of this draft legislation among the public", he said in a statement.

"As the sponsor of the bill, the department had a right to educate the public on its objectives and intentions through a variety of media platforms."

Mazibuko said the campaign "seeks to persuade the public that the purpose of the bill is to protect personal information, such as birth certificates and drivers' licences."

She said the adverts - in print and on radio and TV - focused on "a narrow and largely irrelevant" aspect of the bill.

"[This]... is disingenuous, as no mention is made of the bill's range of controversial implications."

There was no reference to its serious implications for press freedom, or its potential repercussions for corruption whistle-blowers.

Mazibuko said the department's decision to "engage in this propaganda campaign" on a piece of legislation still being deliberated on, and that had yet to be signed into law, showed a clear disregard for the separation of powers.

"The executive has no right to embark on an 'education campaign'. The Chief Whip of the majority party should know this," she said.

The advertisements appeared to breach three key provisions of the ASA's advertising code dealing with honesty, fear and truthful representation.

Mazibuko intended writing to National Assembly Speaker, Max Sisulu, and National Council of Provinces chairperson, Mninwa Mahlangu, to raise concerns about the government launching a media offensive on a matter that was currently before Parliament.

Motshekga said the ANC was confident the ASA would see the DA's complaint for what it was, "a silly and opportunistic political game, and dismiss it".

  • Irene - 2012-04-04 23:53

    Any idiot knows that Motshego doesn't know what she's talking about. The state of education in SA is proof of it. ANC are pure filth.

      Ngaka - 2012-04-05 00:19

      It's always good to familiarise oneself with the people the articles you read talk about.This article's not talking about Angie...:)

      Clive - 2012-04-05 08:30

      Neither Motshekga knows what they are talking about, Irene, but the DA's statement clearly identifies the chief whip (male), not the totally ineffectual education minister (female). Oops!

  • Roland - 2012-04-04 23:56

    When this lot are done with all this new legislation, are we even going to have an election in 2014 - or will it be postponed??? I would urge every citizen and journalist (and weatherman) to launch a new defiance campaign...just break the stupid laws, just break them...

  • Gregory - 2012-04-05 03:01

    Take that bill and shove it up ur black ANC arse.

  • Vince.York - 2012-04-05 04:56

    The ANC support is and always has been from a horde of plumpish nannies on the hillsides and their acolytes, many around Nkandla currently, that swirl about in colourful attire giving support on a "one on one" basis with catterwailing from 14 official poisonous forked tongues AND NOTHING FURTHER THAN THAT COUNTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What has been ingeniously and sinisterly arranged in the murky covens MUST GO AHEAD AT ALL & ANY COSTS, so long as that cost is covered by taxpayers funds and a tribal form of leadership emerges.

  • brionyl.french - 2012-04-05 05:40

    what are they hiding thats so bad? ANC reminda me of a cat in a liter box covering up their poo frantically with this secrecy bill. I say expose the morons

  • kgalalelo.malesele - 2012-04-05 07:12

    Instead of sorting education, stopping e tolls, helping south Africa all hey care about is promote a law that will protect and harbor corruption. Come on ANC surely u can do better than waste money on corruption secrecy bill

  • Alf - 2012-04-05 07:24

    Motshekga's comments show that te ANC has no clue how democracy is supposed to work. This is clearly reflected in the fact that the majority of the laws proposed by the ANC government are unconstitutional. They only had one thing in mind in 1994 - to take over the country. They did not have and still do not have a strategy, apart from plundering the country at all cost, hence all the nepotism, corruption, multiple wives and dozens of children for which the president syphons off tax payers' money, If the bill should be passed all these things can be neatly swept under the government carpet, because nobody else will be able to afford carpets anymore!

  • Gerald Jordaan - 2012-04-05 07:26

    Benoude boude!! The ANC is clutching at straws!! AND Malema is giving them hell to boot!! What a circus...three ring nogal!!

  • Jacqui - 2012-04-05 12:08

    ANC members don't have to know what they are talking about. Motshego proofs that every time she opens her mouth. That's why the likes of her are so keen on this Information Bill, they can hide their stupidity, legally, from the rest of us. Someone better have mercy on this country.

  • Jacqui - 2012-04-05 12:10

    The ANC chief whip is the same as the minister of education. Both haven't a clue

  • Glyn - 2012-04-05 20:57

    The anc think that South Africans are stupid!

      bonginkosi.mthethwa - 2012-05-03 09:35

      Let the DA stop using the media unfairly, and let the media report fairly and not being baised

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