DA backs Motlanthe on info bill

2012-08-30 19:01

Cape Town - The DA has backed Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe's stance on referring the protection of state information bill to the Constitutional Court before it is signed into law.

"This is another indication that the ANC is slowly bowing to pressure from the opposition and the public around this controversial bill," Democratic Alliance spokesperson Alf Lees said on Thursday.

Motlanthe told reporters in Cape Town on Wednesday night that it would be wise for President Jacob Zuma to refer the bill to the Constitutional Court for certification.

"We would not hesitate to say to the president 'send it to the Constitutional Court for certification before assenting to it'.

"That is almost a given, given the amount of controversy that has surrounded this process. That is the way to go," Motlanthe said.

Lees said the remarks followed the significant concessions made on Wednesday by the ANC in deliberations in the National Council of Provinces' ad hoc committee on the bill, of which he is a member.

"We do, however, want further amendments to be made before the bill goes back to the National Assembly and from there to the president."

These included the removal of provincial archives from the bill's provisions, amendments to the "opt-in" clause, and the removal of all minimum sentences, he said.

The bill has sparked two years of sustained protest and has resulted in media houses, activists, and the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) threatening to challenge it in the Constitutional Court.

The ANC's proposals included removing a clause which prohibited the disclosure of any state security matter, and which had been criticised by opponents as raising the spectre of returning South Africa to apartheid era secrecy by drawing a veil over the workings of the intelligence community.

  • ntokozo.msane3 - 2012-08-30 19:38

    How convenient

  • zak.cebi - 2012-08-30 19:59

    Power is an issue, it must go to the Asians now, anyway i'm not an Asian, just smelling haha

  • terry.burne - 2012-08-30 20:05

    Go Alf Lees - well done!!!

  • charmaine.mcdonald2 - 2012-08-30 20:24

    We are South African Human Beings and we have the right to know what is happening in our country. Zuma will be replaced, there is no doubt about that, the when is only know to God.

  • mlu.khan - 2012-08-30 20:25

    If the bill is passed into law then our democracy is an illusion

  • impi.masondo - 2012-08-30 20:37

    our leader must not be exploited by the media

  • norman.buchalter - 2012-08-30 20:49

    The article published by the Daily Maverick about Marikana,which interrogates the real actions of the police(and their puppetmasters or ignorant commanders who took the law into their own hands), is indicative of what in-depth investigative reporting can uncover and bring to the Public's attention. It is no wonder that the State seeks to stamp out this type of honest reporting with a minimally altered Secrecy Bill, in what should be a free and open society, protected by its laws so that it can whitewash its actions and retain its otherwise tenuous and morally questionable grip on power. The irony and indeed the travesty of justice that is unfolding (as the above article reports) on miners being charged with mass murder, is an awful interpretation of legal statute, and is to be condemned and defied in the strongest possible terms with all the power available to those representing the miners. Any honourable police force commander,ministers and government should resign, not only hang their heads in shame at this avoidable national tragedy.It has once again brought the international spotlight onto South Africa show-casing what a callous, cruel and amoral country we have remained since 1994. The call should now be on all citizens to flex their moral fibre and demand an end to the abuse of human rights, be this killing of miners, slaughtering of white farmers or merely (how blase we have become) the unacceptably high numbers of murders and rapes in South Africa .

  • johandebeer - 2012-08-30 20:55

    Alf - if you want the ruling party to concede in future, then don't rub their noses in it like a child. Is this about the outcome that you wanted or is it about ego? Gee, you chaps can be stupid sometimes!

  • gordon.trevat - 2012-08-30 20:59

    Just covering his *ss

  • Gerald Jordaan - 2012-08-30 21:33

    Another kick in the ANC's posterior !! e-tolling next !!

  • Gerald Jordaan - 2012-08-30 21:35

    Another kick in the ANC's posterior !! e-tolling next !!

  • Gerald Jordaan - 2012-08-30 21:35

    Another kick in the ANC's posterior !! e-tolling next !!

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