Info bill: ANC, media to 'keep talking'

2011-12-06 15:22

Johannesburg - The SA National Editors' Forum (Sanef), the ruling ANC and Media Monitoring Africa met on Tuesday to discuss the protection of state information bill.

ANC parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said the meeting allowed parties to listen to each other - "beyond the noise that has been created in the media where we were speaking past each other".

The draft was passed on November 22 in the National Assembly by 229 votes to 107.

Several newspapers ran front page editorials saying the bill would criminalise the use of classified information to expose government corruption.

Mothapo said the main contentious area was the absence of a so-called "public interest" defence which could be raised to protect a journalist or whistleblower.


"Sanef did raise and amplify its concerns regarding that matter [and] the ANC also used the opportunity to present its case on this particular matter.

"The meeting was not intended to make amendments, it was intended to really listen to each other and understand where each other comes from," he said.

The parties agreed to keep on talking.

Mothapo said the National Council of Provinces would meet on Wednesday to set a schedule for its consideration of the bill. The process would include public consultation and written and oral hearings, he said.

Sanef said it would take part in this process.

Those present at Tuesday's meeting included ANC Chief Whip in Parliament Mathole Motshekga, ANC MP Luwellyn Landers, Sanef chairperson Mondli Makhanya, deputy editor of The Star Jovial Rantao, Mail & Guardian editor Nic Dawes, and City Press editor Ferial Haffajee.

  • Grant - 2011-12-06 15:38

    "Mothapo said the National Council of Provinces would meet on Wednesday to set a schedule for its consideration of the bill. The process would include public consultation and written and oral hearings, he said" Surely this should have happened before the Bill was 'bullied' through Parliament?

      Spyker - 2011-12-06 16:01

      There was a far more disturbing report on the front page of yesterday's Business Day. The targeting of the media (per se), but specifically targeting individual journalists, is by every measure the trait of a FASCIST STATE. I am amazed that ANC24 has not featured this story.., then again, perhaps I should not be... I fear, today, we are further from a democracy than what we have ever been - trust me, there are DARK DAYS ahead. We have only one of two choices: THE SUITCASE OR THE SWORD...

      Gerhard - 2011-12-06 16:19

      After the Luwellyn Landers Show in the National Assembly we have another 'kykweer' with the same idiot in attendance. How much more information is necessary for the ANC to finally understand/comprehend that the freedoms of an open and transparent democracy will be violated by this bill being sanctioned.

  • Shirley - 2011-12-06 15:46

    Why "listen" when its too late!! Is this bit of spin supposed to appease the nation. Sorry chaps but you have got to do more than REALY listen! You should of done that before passing the bill!!!

      Michael - 2011-12-06 18:45

      You are so right Shirley. This Government of ours does what it likes and shows us the middle finger. They used to try to hide what they do, then they denide what they do and now they know we know what they are doing and don't give a dam. They will do it anyway.

  • Reitz - 2011-12-06 16:04

    So basically... If you find out about corruption... You will probably get a lesser sentence if you kill them than you would if you break this law. That is just ridiculous... But a good idea to whoever finds themselves asking the question should I tell or not?

  • ruben.maistry - 2011-12-06 16:12

    It's time that ALL citizens of South Africa stood up to this Bill.People understand, it's NOT what the ANC dictates or what the media wants, it's what the people want.

      John - 2011-12-09 16:23

      Ruben, those are the right words. I'm not just give you a "thumb up", becouse I'll be one of the many "sillent supporters" that will "click" after on "Victoria Secret Fashion Show" video. Ruben....11 comments at the time I've wrote my post and 2,7k hits on same page for bikini featured video. When we have this proportion number right,we can truly fight for democracy and freedom. Now we are just like a chained barking dogs in the dark, where wolfs are waiting for the right moment to slaughter.....keep watching bikini South Africa.

  • Lionel - 2011-12-06 16:20

    Want to stop secrets and corruption? Want to make public what happens in your local government? Join with others in your ward and work for transparent, effective local government.

      John - 2011-12-09 17:42

      Another "Proudly South African" story. Why you all about double standards and replication of existing infrastructures with infrastructures? Why we must report to CPF in order to get attention? Why ordinary citizens cannot have a "true access" but CPF can?.....Ask yourself those questions. CPF is a "buffer zone" where you have a peace of mind that someone recieved your complain and you will recieve a "free update". Why always, always, always "middle man" is required in South African society? People of the people, Man of the Man, Buddy of the buddy. Sign here, report there, applauses. What is all about?....Dont you understand that everything is about double standards. Lionel...when security companies signs dissapear from the walls of Police stations I'll understand that Police can handle their issues directly...without forums, security companies and sheep keepers like you, which are advertising in this forum. We, the ordinary people want direct access for our problems. Not someone that represent us. We had enough of representers and another line que for our problems. If I have a problem with my electricity bill...i dont need someone to collect my paperwork and deliver to municipality office becouse you have a "better access" there..your CPF's are just buffers.This with crime stopers..People, dont take over a police job. Fight for police to be available for every citizen.Fight for Police to be equipped and trained. You don't need a "forum" or membership to report crime.

      John - 2011-12-09 17:56

      Lionel, corruption always starts from intermediary man that finds a better access then others.

  • Tc - 2011-12-06 16:21

    We have limited sympathy with the media, anyway. They censor us in the interest of their ANC masters regardless of the show they are puttting up now. Who are they fooling? We are not idiots!

  • Lynn - 2011-12-06 16:22

    How much more listening do they need to do before they can actually hear. The public has spoken loudly and clearly. We do not want this bill. It is not good for our country.

  • rory.short1 - 2011-12-06 17:01

    I am glad that the ANC government is still talking to parties concerned about the possible/probable negative impacts that the POIB would have on our young democracy should it become law. I hope that they are talking in good faith. Up until now their talking has not been in good faith as they clearly have had no intention whatsoever, to change those aspects of the POIB which civil society finds objectionable, because they have not changed them.

  • Butch - 2011-12-17 16:43

    I honestly hope in future the media and politicians will be as enthusiastic about attacks on constitutional rights. When constitutional rights of firearm owners were taken away to disarm them with the draconian new "firearms bill/act , the media and politicians were dangerously quiet and firearm owners had to fight for themselves, even today in high courts and still the media is totally blaze about the issue

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