Info bill: Parties 'not that far apart'

2012-08-07 22:39

Cape Town - Political parties in Parliament will again meet privately in a bid to reach consensus on the controversial protection of state information bill.

"The process of party-to-party engagements will continue in an attempt to try and find each other," Raseriti Tau, chairperson of the National Council of Provinces ad hoc committee dealing with the bill, said on Tuesday.

"We're not that far apart and that's a good sign," he told MPs after a briefing by the state security department.

Dennis Dlomo, acting director general for the department, briefed MPs on various technical issues related to proposed amendments to the bill.

In May the ANC proposed several changes to the legislation, relating to the possession and disclosure of classified information.

The ruling party wanted the words "ought reasonably to have known" to be excluded from section 49 of the bill - to protect people unaware that they were disclosing classified information.

On Tuesday, Dlomo told the NCOP committee his department wanted the words retained.

Dlomo did not respond to the call for a public interest defence.

The ANC had proposed an alternative which would see journalists and whistle-blowers being exempt from prosecution, provided they exposed corruption and other crimes.

The move was welcomed by opposition parties, but the Democratic Alliance wanted wider protection for journalists and others who publicised information in the public interest.

The committee adjourned on Tuesday, with an agreement that parties would negotiate behind closed doors, before MPs convened deliberations again.

  • goyougoodthing - 2012-08-07 23:27

    No censorship in a democracy... none.

  • hein.huyser - 2012-08-08 01:39

    Two parties going in the opposite direction at some point are not far appart, but what then? There is no way that we as citizens can accept or condone the lies of the ruling party anymore, never mind allow them to classify their thievery as "secret" to hide theft. We already have a secret SANDF fund where R90billion were spent without any accountability whatsoever. Imagine how these hayenas will carry on if they can hide all their shenannigans! May this cost the anc the next election

  • Gerald Jordaan - 2012-08-08 03:27

    The ANC must accept that they were elected to serve the people of SA ! They were not elected to plunder..hence any attempt to introduce legislation providing the thieving corrupt lot protection must be vigorously opposed !!

  • tw2066 - 2012-08-08 05:34

    One secret vs one truth = a million miles apart. This corrupt bantustan ANC is hell bent on having its own way. And 60% of the population allow themselves to be subjected to this... dumb nation... they deserve their ANC!!

  • pws69 - 2012-08-08 06:24

    Ask yourself one question: "What is my government trying to hide from me?" Then decide whether the bill in its current form is good or not.

  • pws69 - 2012-08-08 06:25

    My trust relationship with the ANC government is irretrievably broken.

  • darryl.scott.77770 - 2012-08-08 07:26

    Banana Republic here we come.!! This "info Bill" is a bit of a Nazi move if you ask me. That turned out real well didn't it? Soon there will be nothing left of this place.

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-08-08 07:26

    Corruption is greed; incompetence is ignorance; censorship in peacetime is cowardice. There was lot of the last under the Nationalist Party.

  • michael.kleber.376 - 2012-08-08 07:47

    We all know why the ANC want this bill passed as they hate it when the press highlight their incompetence , dishonesty , corruption etc. its not to protect the country its to allow them freedom to take more

  • charles.kubhayi.9 - 2012-08-08 07:52

    My worry here is that how is the government going to prevent the use of media by individuals to serve their personal interest,and how are we going to prevent the media from taking sides when reporting incidences.For example the present case of the boeremag is not well covered by the media but if it was Zuma in the court, the media would be analysing every inch of the process and would want everyone to comment on the matter.

      malcolm.macleod.562 - 2012-08-08 09:42

      Why is that a problem? The boeremag are a bunch of nobodies that barely anyone cares about, while the president is (despite being a total moron) the president. Naturally the second one is more interesting and will be covered more. Would you force equal coverage time wise for every story? Surely you can see how silly this sounds? Reporting more on a story is not "taking sides" some stories are simply of greater interest/importance than others. Please stop being such a child.

      pws69 - 2012-08-08 10:55

      There was at least one article, and often more than one article, per DAY over the last two weeks here on News24. What are you going on about?

  • peter.jefferies.90 - 2012-08-08 09:07

    The ruling party wanted the words "ought reasonably to have known" to be excluded from section 49 of the bill - to protect people unaware that they were disclosing classified information - Why are people in the ANC too stupid to know what they are saying when they are saying it?? What a joke, ANC you fail. It is so sad to see how a hand full of people in power can have such a negative affect on an entire country. South Africa is just going backwards with these clowns in charge!!!

  • zmvulane - 2012-08-08 13:53

    Some of the rudimentary comments on this page clearly show that there are still too many the people who formulated their views on the Info Bill on what they heard from other people or read from the media! Chapter 14 of Bill criminalises erroneous classification of information to, among other things, "conceal an unlawful act or omission, incompetence, inefficiency or administrative error" or "restrict access to state information in order to limit scrutiny and thereby avoid criticism"! Please JUST READ THE DAMN THING & stop making yourselves any denser that you are!

      pws69 - 2012-08-08 14:14

      It is not the entire bill that is faulty, just certain clauses. I could pick half a dozen of the good ones, and say "what's the problem". Same thing happened with the Patriot Act and the proposed Medicaid bill, where just ONE paragraph in each turns the USA into a police state. The Devil is in the detail.

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