Info bill: Cosatu will go to ConCourt

2011-11-24 15:46

Johannesburg - Cosatu will go to the Constitutional Court should attempts to amend the protection of state information bill fail, its secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi said on Thursday.

Vavi said the Congress of SA Trade Unions would call for an urgent meeting with the ANC leadership to discuss the bill.

The ANC had not responded to a letter raising Cosatu's concerns about the bill, he said.

"We will make an appeal to the President [Jacob Zuma] not to sign the bill. We hope we can find one another in that the necessary amendments are effected in the process of the bill going to the National Council of Provinces," he told reporters in Johannesburg.

"The point we are raising is that if all that fails we will be left with no option but to proceed to the Constitutional Court."

Constructive engagements on the bill resulted in an improved bill to what it used to be at the beginning, he said.

However, the scope of the revised bill remained excessively wide.

"It contains numerous provisions that undermine rights of access to information.

"Quite problematically, we note that its provisions state that it will trump the provisions of any other act of Parliament that contradicts it," he said.

Public interest defence

The bill also criminalised the possession of classified information by unauthorised people.

The ANC majority drove the contentious bill through the National Assembly on Tuesday, despite vehement protests in and outside Parliament.

The so-called "secrecy bill" was adopted with 229 to 107 votes, and two abstentions, by the 400-member chamber.

There were 34 ANC MPs absent from the National Assembly during the vote.

The ANC said it was convinced that the bill would play a constructive role in South Africa's constitutional democracy.

However, Vavi said there was a need to introduce a public interest defence.

"Cosatu is concerned that relevant provisions in the bill are capable of such broad interpretation that it would have the effect of imposing criminal responsibility on whistle-blowers who disclose information in the public interest," he said.

  • Poloyatonki - 2011-11-24 15:55

    In this day and time I dont see the importance of Cosatu, they failed our workers. Cosatu is only good at helping the workers to protest and demand more pay and that forces employer to retrench people to be able to afford to pay his employees more. Cosatu must join ANCYL and push for economic freedom, skill transfer, Land, Mines, etc.

      wesleywt - 2011-11-24 16:02


      Riaan - 2011-11-24 16:06

      Blah-blah you’re an idiot with an idiotic argument. Although Cosatu is a left labor party hugely responsible for the lack of jobs in SA (a whole other point to debate), on this I support them.

      Deon - 2011-11-24 16:16

      Skills transfer comes with education, theft will never be legalised even if you give it fancy names. The ANCYL lost the plot.

      Bryan - 2011-11-24 16:16

      @Polonydonkey...Now I have heard everything.! I'm sure there is some form of medication that will help you slightly but unfortunately it may only be short term because there is no cure for stupidity. Cosatu is a major player in the political demographic of our country and although I often find their heavy handed tactics hard to stomach..I support them fully in their quest for justice on this point.., let the games begin..!!!

      Device - 2011-11-24 16:24

      @Riaan: Wow "Cosatu is a left labour party" I always thought Cosatu was a trade union and not a party. looks like the The pot calling the kettle black there boet.

      Jerhone - 2011-11-24 16:28

      it's the donkey without brains

      braamc - 2011-11-24 16:33

      Just someone take the bush out of it

      Freddie - 2011-11-24 16:34

      In this day and age I fail to see any relevance in anything written by Polio infested donkeys...

      Oneant - 2011-11-24 16:38

      thank god you cant take skills... you have to earn them. woot!

      Harley - 2011-11-24 17:07

      i do believe your brain has already been transfered

      Alan - 2011-11-24 18:24

      I hope you're right and they pull out of the alliance. Then the communist party. I'd like to see how far the ANC gets without them. Heaven alone knows how much support they've already lost.

      Mantsho - 2011-11-27 20:50

      You sound greedy.l think you have to get a life,do something and sto complaining about Land and economy.

      TSR01 - 2011-12-01 16:29

      "Cosatu must join ANCYL and push for [...] Land, Mines, [...]" - I agree, but your spelling is off. Landmines are a good thing, because it will help eliminate the ANCYL nuisance. The ANCYL are immature, hateful, and unintelligent in their words and actions. Let them destroy themselves if they wish, but not at the expense of anyone else.

  • Deon - 2011-11-24 15:56

    Well done, the line to CC might be packed on this issue.

  • Impi - 2011-11-24 15:59

    I have always felt Vavi should have been the President of this country. At least he has the guts to stand up for what is right for us. Thank you Mr. Vavi, you have brought hope in my heart today that all is not lost for us.

      zeekoevlei - 2011-11-24 16:03

      He may be standing up for what is right in this instance, but what about the irreparable damage he has done to our country by supporting a strike culture.... How do we encourage foreign investment in our country when there are strikes and sympathetic strikes every other week.

      Impi - 2011-11-24 16:09

      @zeekoevlei. Given the current options we have, do you have any other person in mind that can save us from the mess we are in? Remember the voting masses are the people who decide who rules and who doesn't. He is currently our best option. I'm not condoning Cosatu, I grabbing at straws of hope for us. Mrs. Zille hasn't got the black vote yet, but Vavi can garner the black vote in a second and save us from these corrupt leaders we have now.

      Sean - 2011-11-24 17:35

      although I disagree with many of how COSATU handle most of their issues, Vavi as a leader is someone that impresses me. He seems to be one of the only altruistic and utopian politicians (and I rank a leader of a trade union as a politician) that exist in our country.

  • Bruce - 2011-11-24 16:00

    Zweli, you're my kinda guy! You and Helen should talk more seriously..

  • Willie - 2011-11-24 16:00

    Do not go to Concourt,disband the alliance so that the lines should be defined clearly."....not to sign the bill..." so if he does not sign are you going to support him at Bloem. next year? this is crazy

  • JazzyBlues - 2011-11-24 16:04

    Give Vavi a Bells... a double ;)

  • Johann - 2011-11-24 16:05

    Skill transfer, land mines Poly what are you smoking?

      steve.luckie - 2011-11-24 16:21

      Hahaha Poly probably smokes his own socks or drink his urine.

  • yolie.Landa - 2011-11-24 16:14

    I like Vavi, and now I like him more

  • George - 2011-11-24 16:25

    Eish! The alliance with the the drama queens must end. These guys are no longer significant in our politics. They wrecking the economy with their endless trikes and mindless critism to the massmart issue. Attention seekers.

  • kalosi.ramakhula - 2011-11-24 16:29

    I thought COSATU was a trade union with a mandate to deal with worker's issues on the factory factory floor. Now they are telling a government what to do on information issues? maybe COSATU now should stand for elections on its own.

  • Ulvenkai - 2011-11-24 16:32

    You know things are out of whack when Cosatu says something we can all agree with.

  • malcolm - 2011-11-24 16:33

    Good, Even less votes for the ANC. They have driven themselves down a cul-de-sac and have almost reached the dead end.

  • Ewald - 2011-11-24 16:35

    Thats ANC! ... Drive this secrecy bill, because apparently there are spies under our beds! You are losing votes now by the thousands...

  • Panki - 2011-11-24 16:40

    It's time to show what COSATU are capable of. If they fail on this one, no one will ever have confidence in them. Whatever they say will now be hot air for sure. If they want to regain the confidence of the workers ,this is an opportunity. They should prove themselves to be a force to be reckon with and not another wing of the ANC. They may be part of the tri-partite but should prove they can think for themselves. They are currently a toothless structure compared to many unions in the world. Anyway , why are thy still sleeping in the same bed with the government?

  • rowen.loretz - 2011-11-24 16:42

    $%^%^*^%^ *(&*( ^&%$$##$ _*(^^(*(*&%^%$# *&^%$....( censored by ANC - the truth must not come out - sorry )

      Heiku - 2011-11-24 17:15


  • Neville - 2011-11-24 17:24


  • phathuchicos - 2011-11-24 17:25

    blah blah blah...cosatu think we are stupid hey...they waited until it was passed. Now they are acting angelic.

  • Atholl - 2011-11-24 17:27

    'its (the Bill's) provisions state that it will trump the provisions of any other act of Parliament that contradicts it' ..... this is a distinct attempt to override the Bill of Rights -> .. S2 of the Constitution says: 'law or conduct inconsistent with it (constitution S16- Freedom of the media) is invalid. So Law or conduct that is made to undermine the Bill of Rights is invalid.

  • Chris - 2011-11-25 13:04

    i hate Anc

  • Roy - 2011-11-25 20:45

    Whe the people fear the government you have tyranny; only when the government fears the people you have FREEDOM.

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