Info bill vote: 62 MPs stay away

2011-11-22 18:13

Cape Town - Freedom of speech activists and newspaper editors on Tuesday promised a campaign of “civil disobedience” against the protection of information bill.

Protests took place across the country, but on Tuesday afternoon 229 MPs voted in favour and 107 against the bill. There were two abstentions.

Sixty-two MPs weren't in the National Assembly when the bill was voted on.

Speaking outside Parliament on Tuesday, human rights activist Fatima Hassan said that South Africans will embark on a campaign of civil disobedience.

Civil society leaders and editors all agreed that they will take the fight against the bill to the Constitutional Court.

Mondli Makhanya, editor-in-chief of Avusa Media and chairperson of the SA National Editors’ Forum, said that, if necessary, “we will go to jail”.

Hundreds of people turned up at the protest outside Parliament, including Mail & Guardian editor Nic Dawes, City Press editor Ferial Haffajee, Sunday Times editor Ray Hartley and cartoonist Zapiro.

Moments before the vote, Makhanya said: “Their [government officials] consciences back then wouldn't have let them push this bill through.”

Suppress knowledge

HIV/Aids activist Zachie Achmat later told protesters that the purpose of the bill is to suppress knowledge of information such as the R2 trillion that will be spent on nuclear programmes instead of giving children a decent education.

National Press Club chairperson Yusuf Abramjee promised the vote would mean not only a Black Tuesday but a “Black Monday, Black Tuesday, Black Wednesday, Black Thursday, Black Friday, Black Saturday and Black Sunday”.

After the vote, Dawes tweeted that it “hurt” to walk out of Parliament in protest at the bill.

“That hurt. The vote was expected, but standing up to walk out was nauseating. The right message to send, but a grim moment,” he said.

Even Nando’s weighed in on the discussion around the bill, with an ad showing a blacked out message and writing beneath it: “Dear journalists, if you ever run out of things to write about, you can always tell people about our flame-grilled, 24-hour marinated Peri-Peri chicken.”

The bill will now go before the National Council of Provinces and, if approved, it will be signed by President Jacob Zuma. It will then appear in the government gazette.

  • Richard - 2011-11-22 18:19

    “Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.” Benjamin Franklin

      Yar - 2011-11-22 19:07

      @trevor06 Why can't you pay for advertising like normal people. I have reported your comment. Please stop littering our discussion space with your crap. I appeal to everyone visiting News24 to avoid trevor06's garbage product / service.

      Barry - 2011-11-22 19:10

      What is the most frightening is that the ANC is now publicly stating to the world. "Don't Invest in South Africa" because we are corrupt and we prefer to hide it.

      Fredster69 - 2011-11-23 07:30

      @ Barry: There have never been more true words spoken...and what I cannot understand, is that it is done with a "screw all of you, we will do what we need to protect ourselfs" attitude. This opens the door to all sorts of corruptiona dn tender fraud. God help us!!!

      Richard - 2011-11-23 09:33

      Haha, sounds like you also been following the american debate about the Patriot act.

  • lemmingwings - 2011-11-22 18:34

    As long as the internet exists these idiots can't keep anything away from the public..

      Phuti - 2011-11-23 20:19

      Internet is a previllege for the is always feeding us with negative news.Whites wud never see anything in SA cos they love apartheid.They want a white president but that won't happen.

  • Lyndatjie - 2011-11-22 18:34

    and some free advertising for Nando's thrown in... jeez!

  • Anthony - 2011-11-22 18:35

    can one read anything into ''62 MPs stay away---or were they just too lazy and badly disiplined to turn up and do their jobs is it possible that these 62 MPs wanted nothing to do with this bill but didnt have the b@@ls to vote against it will we ever know

      Vuyo - 2011-11-22 19:15

      We'll see at next year's conference Anthony. I would like to believe it is the first sign that we will be purged of Jacob Zuma.

      Heinrich - 2011-11-22 21:18

      Anthony : My guess is that these 62 were attending to the Gravy Train at some exotic location.

      sefeddt - 2011-11-22 22:10

      Too lazy to attend

  • kenneth.corsar - 2011-11-22 18:39

    what a poorly written article - 62 MPS absent, but no idea if these were ANC MPS or others. Sorry forgot that's a secret. If the 62 missing MP's were from the ANC well kudos to to them, but I'm sure they wont be in office too much longer - they defied 'Daddy'

      Vuyo - 2011-11-22 19:16

      Kenneth I think the opposition was there in force. Very little chance of absentees being from the opposition.

      frans.visserdsb - 2011-11-23 07:22

      Actually, they probably were opposition members. there were 2 votes - the second vote the 'yes' votes were 259 - which is 65% of the 400 members in the National assembly. Almost exactly the ANC majority....

  • Ryan - 2011-11-22 18:40

    Sad day for the general South African public... ALL of us!

  • kenneth.corsar - 2011-11-22 18:43

    See the impact on the markets, despite the Eurozone (which has impacted badly anyway) the Rand has tanked against the major currencies since the announcement.

  • Matthew - 2011-11-22 18:48

    Oh Great! Here we go down into the valley of ignorance and stupidity!

  • hpitout - 2011-11-22 18:49

    Name and shame the 'YES' voters! Have a look at One to watch for the future?

  • mastersvoice - 2011-11-22 18:57

    It would seem Zuma's great legacy to South Africans will be the Secrecy Bill. He will be remembered as the man who led South Africa back into Apartheid at this rate!

  • Xenon1 - 2011-11-22 18:58

    @ Poloyadonki: if the ANC governed properly the media wouldn't seem like an opposition party. Based on your statement the same would apply to religious bodies, civil society groups, the Public Protector, the general public, the business community, etc,etc, etc. get your two brain cells in a row before posting a comment.

      Phuti - 2011-11-23 20:25

      The ANC is running this country nicely;whites just like to mourn unecesarily.They created the situation we find ourself in today by denying us proper education.

  • Bobo - 2011-11-22 18:59

    Outlive - Outsmart - Outpray cANCer Have faith people of SA

  • fritz.louw - 2011-11-22 19:03

    If this bill was passed 15 years back then Armscor and African Defence Systems (ADS) criminality would not have been revealed. They are indeed disgraceful and fundamentally corrupt organizations and both a shame for South Africa – in the past, now and it looks like in the foreseeable future as well.

  • pws69 - 2011-11-22 19:09

    The majority believe ignorance is bliss. The same clowns who vote ANC then violently protest against the ANC for lack of service delivery only WEEKS later. The are just far too stupid to even begin to comprehend the implications of what they have allowed.

      mastersvoice - 2011-11-22 19:40

      Probably not stupid - just grossly misinformed. Too much faith has been placed in their beloved ANC, and now the ANC under the leadership of Zuma is failing them. Yet still they cling to the fragile hope that one day the ANC will take their interests to heart.

  • j.c.s.mailbox - 2011-11-22 20:00

    Yep, before the 1994 elections some politicians had warned the public about all the bad things that will happened when the ANC will come into power, and they was "slaughtered" by the majority including the liberals. Today 17 years later a large nr. of ANC supporters eyes was opened with a big bang. But the other millions is still in the darkness about what the ANC really is. How many other betrayels have the ANC to be done before most of their supporters will come to their sences?? By that time the little of South Africa which can be regarded as something worth while, will be destroyed. By the way, statistics concerning the history of despots and radical opressors shown that press-publicing blackouts and even radio-broadcasting and TV-broadcasting-blackouts was the preceeding acts of mass murders and genocidal acts from these rulers like Idi Amin, Moammar Gaddafi, Robbert Mugabi etc. This all makes one think about what is in the future??!!

  • Gavin - 2011-11-22 20:00

    This is surely the begining of the end. One by one, the public and international investors, will shun the ANC for it's stance on TRANSPARENCY i.r.o the secrecy bill.

  • Observer - 2011-11-22 20:01

    If I come into anything that is embarrassing to the government and doesn't jeopardize the country, then I will release it to the public......"Evil exists when good men stand idly by"....and I will not stand by. Come and get me...and I will have my voice heard will not silence me or my ideals, I will struggle against you till you wither and die. You are enemies of the people and will be treated and remembered as such.....Long Live the Republic!!

      Dave - 2011-11-22 20:37

      Well said

      Grant - 2011-11-23 10:08

      Let us stand and have a minutes silence in respect of the late 'Observer'.

      Observer - 2011-11-23 17:25

      Never late...these idiots aren't smart enough to silence the will of people...remember they thought they could shut down Twitter et al...mamparas all of them, and again they are too stupid to realize that history does repeat itself... every time they think they can do this they will need to remember Ceaucescu, Gaddhafi, Milosovic, Hussein..etc... we will not stop...we will find you...we will prevail

  • Perfume5 - 2011-11-22 20:12

    Woke up in South Africa. Going to sleep in Zimbabwe

  • Dave - 2011-11-22 20:29

    Today, we as people living in South Africa cry for our beloved country. 17 years ago this country presented a constitution that was the one of the most progressive of its time. Today the cancer of corruption of 30% of our GDP took hold and the government has flushed it down the toilet. We are on the slippery slope of dictatorship. I hope the world takes note. Secrecy is now the order of the day and we will now live in darkness

  • Stefan - 2011-11-22 20:31

    F*&k you ZUMA!!!! F*#K you sincerely!!

  • Chabi - 2011-11-22 20:36

    Hey Mondli, Please cancel my AVUSA subscription.... I am starting my civil disobedience against you.

  • Dave - 2011-11-22 20:46

    Nandos,for once this is not a funny topic, and to try and capitalise on it sucks, so take a hot and spicey drumstick and shove it

      frans.visserdsb - 2011-11-23 07:26

      Dave, actually I think it took balls from Nando's. And never underestimate the power of humour to ridicule politicians. Lampooning Politicians has been and always will be an extremely powerful tool for democracy - why do you think Zuma hates Zapiro's guts?

  • George - 2011-11-22 21:38

    And here we thought that by voting for equality, that has eventually led to the 1994 elections, that we NEVER EVER would be faced with this type of government manipulation again! Messrs ANC, I think that the writing is on the wall for you too now.

      Xolani - 2011-11-23 00:54

      Prophet of doom.Come next elections ANC will win.VIVA ANC,VIVA!!!

  • Fredster69 - 2011-11-23 07:32

    62 MP's that is looking after the Nation. We cannot even rely on them to cast a vote. That is a disgrace!!!

  • ajcvdw - 2011-11-23 08:17

    I will make a bold statement: Anyone coming out in favour of the ANC in this instance is a beneficiary of their nepotism and corruption. The rest of the ANC members are either too poor to afford the means to protest (such as on this forum) or too dumbed-down by their ANC government's policies and strategies to care or even understand what this is about. Poloyatonki is a prime example, and he doesn't even have the balls to reveal his true identity (read: "censor me so I can do or say what I want, just like my cronies in government"), for fear that he would be exposed or investigated as a tenderpreneur.

  • George - 2011-11-23 08:51

    This is attacking our right to freedom of speech. The question is is this still a free country that we live in. "We shall live and strive for freedom" - does this apply to all or does freedom for some mean captivity for others.

  • wgjooste - 2011-11-23 09:54

    Ok so all of us agree that whats happening is not ideal , NOW lets stop talking about something we all agree on and start talking about a Plan of action . Well most of us are sitting thinking , darn how can lil old me do anything about it , well go out talk about whats happening , talk about the wrongs , discuss with everyone , strangers, freinds, family etc . They pass this bill but we still have our voices , go outside and do something ! If youre in the que at spar , ask the person behind u , ey whats your opinion on the information bill ? Dont stop talking , let freedom ring from the sunny beaches of durban , let freedom ring from the table in the mother city , let freedom ring from square in hatfield ... hahaha U guys get the idea , now go out and lets do SOMETHING , 1 , 2 ,3 break

  • Phuti - 2011-11-23 20:13

    The situation is like this cos the media is always writing negative stuff about government & ANC for no reason without investigating.They side with white DA.

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