Info bill a 'dog's breakfast' - Kasrils

2012-11-19 22:48

Cape Town - There are too many things going wrong in the country for critics of the so-called info bill to be silenced, former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils told a group of protesters outside Parliament on Monday.

Kasrils joined a group of demonstrators from the lobby group Right2Know Campaign (R2K), who are camping outside the parliamentary gates to protest against the protection of state information bill.

The measure is currently being finalised by a National Council of Provinces ad-hoc committee.

"If we've been associated with the ANC not to just pretend a loyalty and to grit our teeth and sit on our hands, but to actually have the right to say to the government of the ANC... this applies to the [SA] Communist Party and the trade unions, that we are worried and we can see our people losing confidence in you," he told protesters.

Kasrils' opposition to the bill drew strong criticism from the ruling party last year, when he was accused of trying to "rule from the grave", and "failing to deal with the mess in the then department of intelligence, where he was a minister, which left the country vulnerable to machinations of foreign spies, information peddlers, and espionage activities".

The former minister on Monday indicated such statements had not made him falter, and said he remained driven by his conscience.

He still believed the bill was a "dog's breakfast".

"I want to commend Right2Know for creating this campaign against all sorts of insults, even to the extent of saying they are doing the work of foreign spies and agents, so bankrupt have some of the people been that have been pushing for this bill," he said.

Kasrils wants a public interest defence included in the bill to protect those who leak wrongdoing by government.

"We are getting even more concerned because it [the bill] has tended to create the suspicion that perhaps the reason is not to protect the sovereignty and constitution of our country, but rather to hide many of the growing number of things that come to embarrass you because you have lost the way," he said.

Kasrils said he had not given up on the ANC, and its alliance partners, but remained worried about where it was headed.

"We do see other voices outside of that alliance who talk strongly truth to power, and the ordinary people of our country, from all walks of life and all backgrounds, who stand up and say we voted you in - whoever you are - to serve the people, to help solve the problems of the people and not your own particular interests."

The R2K campaign has set up a tent at the Catholic Cathedral opposite Parliament and will be holding lunchtime pickets every day this week.

  • firmsly.kabelo - 2012-11-19 23:05

    Down with Info Bill down.

      devon.riley.52 - 2012-11-20 03:22

      And down with it's spin doctors

      tw2066 - 2012-11-20 05:46

      Down with the racist corrupt ANC regime!

      luther.kingsley.5 - 2012-11-20 07:22

      Nobody needs the Info Bill more than those guilty of shady deals.

      asdhasgd - 2012-11-20 08:48

      Who the HELL could down that?? how stupid could you be??

      heathway.master - 2012-11-20 09:18

      This just so typical of our illustrious President and his bunch of corrupt, incompetent, Cadres. Rather than deal with the out of control and endemic corruption in this country, rather introduce a secrecy bill to hide all corruption from the public, so corruption can continue, business as usual. The citizen must never forget that huge financial gain by the Government officials must not be tampered with, according to all those lucrative Government deals on offer. This country is typical of all the rest of Africa, where a supposed spy lurks under every bush. Foreign agents will eventually be blamed for the absolute state of chaos the country presently finds itself in, through its bunch of non-leaders, interested only in self-glorification and financial gain. Surely the people and the opposition parties have the power to squash this "HIDE CORRUPTION" Bill. Any fool can clearly see just what the objectives of this bill are. Go for it, universally respected, Mr President Zuma.

  • honey.deelishus - 2012-11-19 23:26

    Well said Ronnie!

  • Rabbler.Rouser - 2012-11-19 23:36

    It's primary purpose is to cover up corruption. Nkandla is a good example. If it was already law they would classify everything about Nkandla and keep it all secret.

  • mark.a.fysh - 2012-11-19 23:39

    Well done Ronnie Kasrils. It takes a lot for someone of your ideological persuasion to say that. Tell me why, though, your sentiment and convictions now hold you back. The same convictions that led to you and other committed Liberals and Lefties fight for the freedom of the Black People of South Africa now holds you and other Lefties back from denying this now Kleptocratic ANC your vote. Why?

      art5SA - 2012-11-20 21:31

      Ronnie has a STATE/MINISTER's PENSION.... And NOT a CARE IN THE WORLD! What ever he gets upto TODAY.... he still receives his pension at month end!!! Not a SMALL pension either..... I might add! ( R 60k + a month)

  • pws69 - 2012-11-19 23:42

    "If the ANC does to you what the apartheid government did to you, then you must do to the ANC what you did to the apartheid government" - Nelson Mandela, Address to the September 1994 COSATU Congress

      MallyGold - 2012-11-20 07:48

      Yes pws, what an outstanding quote from Nelson: I remember that the oppressed blacks under the white regime realised that the Nat’s similar “secrecy bill” was unjust and they stood together to fight tooth and nail to have it eradicated; yet under the current black regime, the self-same blacks now choose to become “justice-blind”, exactly what they so despised some 18 years ago. The state of Constitutional Rule in South Africa is bleak; the info bill flies squarely in the face of the constitution.

  • toni.watson.169 - 2012-11-20 00:04

    You go kassrills!

      dragonfire47 - 2012-11-20 05:41

      you actually believe his crap

  • julian.broadhurst.9 - 2012-11-20 00:05

    A government that wishes secrecy is one that cannot be trusted.

      beverly.young3 - 2012-11-20 00:23

      Not a bad stance for a pensioner.....I say this with respect and amusement, as I remember him so well leading the masses in Kingwilliamstown so many years ago. Go old man! tell them...

  • dennis.vermaak.5 - 2012-11-20 05:28

    Ronnie, you got bek all of a sudden !! A leopard never changes his spots !!

      blip.noodlum - 2012-11-20 06:55

      Would you PREFER that he never changes his mind just to keep your own prejudices unchallenged? *facepalm*

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-11-20 06:34

    A courageous Jew and struggle hero who has retained a sense of proportion. Why doesn't he just say the Bill is an abomination?

  • conrad.deklerk - 2012-11-20 06:34

    Our country is, to quote U2, like "The blind leading the blonde!". By blonde I mean the rudderless masses and by blind I mean the ANC! Maybe the Mayan prophecy is the one way of solving all of this!

  • brionyl.french - 2012-11-20 06:36

    Bwahahaha the ANC is the dogs breakfast!!! the info bill is their play pen

  • blip.noodlum - 2012-11-20 06:53

    Well said, Red Ronnie!

  • chris.potgieter.73 - 2012-11-20 06:59

    It is amazing to watch the current dictators going down the same road that led to the NP becoming the pariah of the world. Will no one believe in ever taking from the past that which made progress possible and building our futures on that? Then again we get what we vote for don't we? It would seem to me that we, the voters, must galvanize our apathetic fellows to become active even to wearing the t-shirt of our preferred party as a work shirt.

      BobM6389 - 2012-11-20 08:14

      Dewdawn it is a case of getting the masses to think and not just vote for a party, this did not happen under the old NP and will not happen to the ANC voters. Or maybe it will one can only hope.

  • Benjamin - 2012-11-20 07:08

    Any normal sane person with at least a smidgen of intelligence can see this bill is to protect corrupt government officials. You either have to be corrupt or a complete idiot to agree with it.

  • bill.mckimm.9 - 2012-11-20 07:11

    Good one for the white man, Ronnie! you are now officially a racist for opposing the bill (just a prediction). Let's wait and see?

  • chris.greenland.9 - 2012-11-20 07:50

    More like a dog's vomit!

  • FeebleGastro - 2012-11-20 08:11

    Ronnie will be re-educated, he will be drawn back into the smelly cesspit that is the ANC, and he will state thet he just misunderstood the benign purposes of the info bill. Of course some extra gravy (stolen taxpayers money) will also be channelled his way.

  • wessel.jordaan.3 - 2012-11-20 08:35

    Ronnie I am pleased to see a person with your experience of the apartheid system and understanding stand against what will become a repeat of apartheid history and the mechanisms that "abused" all South Africans - irrespective of race,creed or colour - it was an abomination and we can't go will destroy us as a people as a nation! REMEMBER THE ACT BELOW PEOPLE, MAYBE SOME OF YOU WERE TO YOUNG AND ARE NOW TOO BLIND OR IGNORANT TO IMAGINE THE CONSEQUENCES?! Terrorism Act, Number 83 of 1967, which allowed the government to detain individuals indefinitely until all questions had been answered satisfactorily or no further purpose could be achieved by holding the detainees.

  • peet.dames - 2012-11-20 09:33

    Revolution my friends revolution that is what will happen eventually and sorry to say that will be the only way to change direction in this country and i will be on the forefront, rather die for something as to live for nothing

  • fanie.viljoen.73 - 2012-11-20 09:40

    this bill will only hide matters like Inkandla Gate, this is the sole purpose of this bill, for the safety of corrupt politicians.

  • andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-11-20 09:58

    He is only positioning himself for the new change of leadership!

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-11-20 10:07

    Kasrils, now you know why you are a former minister. You are honest and decent, crooks don't like that.

  • tim.brink.1238 - 2012-11-20 10:41

    ANC = SCUM

  • slikhethe33 - 2012-11-20 10:42

    It is difficult to defend ANC.

  • Montagnes.Bleues - 2012-11-20 12:11

    Ronnie Kasrils - YOU are 'The Man of unstinting Integrity' - - no matter I don't support all that you have.

  • crystal.core.5 - 2012-11-20 12:19

    The Info Bill must be stopped. It does not have the support of the people and is purely designed for corrupt senior ANC officials to cover their tracks, silence their opposition, including the press, and erode the civil liberties of all South Africans. No one wants this bill except corrupt ANC officials. The ANC have clearly lost touch with what the people of South Africa want is not a secret police state! This bill must be stopped and the shameful individuals pushing it, so they can further abuse the power given to them, must be voted out of power and their CVs should read "attempted to implement the shameful information bill to cover their cronies asses and jail their opposition against the will of the South African people" from this day forward. Name and shame them all: every single one that voted for it has proven they do not deserve a place in South Africa. They do not represent the interests of the South African people, only their own interests.

  • KennySven - 2012-11-20 13:45

    Well done Minister Kasril,the country respects you.You have now proven that you have the balls to stand up against the cANCer thieves. More spies are needed to bring all the cANCer thieves to book.Well done and keep up the good work we are proud of you.

  • KennySven - 2012-11-20 13:47


  • francois.brown1 - 2012-11-20 14:04

    How can we keep politicians accountable for their actions and demand clean governance if the Info Bill gets passed - What have they got to hide I wonder? What about upholding our "democratic" constitution? Stand up for ethics, values, and clean governance!

  • zmvulane - 2012-11-20 15:35

    Needsless to say that Rannie Kastrils introduced the worse version of the Info Bill, but his utterances demonstrate his ignorance about the processes of Parliament, particularly the processing of the Bill in the National Council of Provinces. Clause 19 (3) (b) of the Bill compels the Head of an Organ of State to declassify state information if "the public interest in the disclosure of the state information clearly outweighs the harm that will arise from the disclosure". The NCOP has substantially amended clause 43 of the Bill that was introduced by Kasrils to protect people who disclose information that "is protected or authorized under the Protected Disclosures Act, Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act or section 159 of the Companies Act" and "conceal breaches of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, 2004 (No. 12 of 2004) as well as any other unlawful act or omission, incompetence, inefficiency or administrative error"! So his utterances are just a misguided hogwash for newspaper headlines!

  • talana.malherbe - 2012-11-20 16:25

    Just goes to show what the corrupt bunch has to hide. We as SA's love this country and we would never do anything or divulge anything that would compromise the security and safety of this country, but we are entitled to know when our trust is abused, when our tax money is stolen!

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