Spies 'will struggle under info bill'

2012-01-24 16:10

Cape Town - Foreign spies who found it easy to access information in the past will not be happy when the protection of state information bill is passed, State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele told MPs on Tuesday.

"If I am a foreign spy - any legislation which makes my work harder won't be nice for me," Cwele told the National Council of Provinces ad-hoc committee dealing with the bill.

Information peddling was a "growing cancer" and laws did not exist to fight it, he said.

South Africa had to learn from other countries when it came to protecting state information.

"This is a growing cancer and we don't have the legal [remedy] to deal with it," he said.

"We have to learn from the experiences of other countries. We have to learn how they have dealt with their challenges."

'Not hiding information'

The department's acting director general Dennis Dlomo, told the committee that the bill was not meant to hide information from South Africans.

"We are not hiding it from our fellow South Africans... We are hiding it from those who are trying to harm our national interests," Dlomo said.

"It is not as complicated as it is sometimes made out to be."

He said if the head of an organ of state came across wrongdoing and the information was classified, they would be obliged to declassify that information.

"This bill seeks to balance the need to maintain secrecy wherever and whenever necessary," he said.

The NCOP's public hearings on the bill, passed by the National Assembly last November, are due to start in February.

  • Merkwaardig - 2012-01-24 16:16

    How monumentally stupid. The information is still as easily accessible. It is simply illegal to advertise. Spying will be as prevalent and effective as always.

      nasheenar - 2012-01-24 16:27

      They know nothing, the minute they open they mouths its evident which fool is speaking now.

      rsteelegray - 2012-01-24 16:53

      what a chop...

      Newsreader - 2012-01-24 17:01

      ANC - lets build a car without any windows or screens so no one can see us and we cant see where we are driving!!!

      Lila - 2012-01-24 17:18

      "Foreign spies" translated as "imperialistic journalists."

      George - 2012-01-24 17:34

      We'r on the road to know where

      Gollum - 2012-01-24 19:47

      @LilaHearst "Foreign spies" translated as "imperialistic journalists."...and "imperialistic journalists." read as "Honest Journalist" Information peddling was a "growing cancer"...give us some examples Siyabonga Cwele. We all know what info the government really want to keep secret and it has nothing to do with State security, just ANC security.

      John - 2012-01-31 09:00

      "If I am a foreign spy - any legislation which makes my work harder won't be nice for me," - Great Words of wisdom !!! Comrad are brilliant.I didn't knew that James Bond writes his reports from Sowetan. Just to give you some thoughts. What about social networks? Do you plan to close Facebook and Twitter becouse they might harm "national security"?...just cut internet - it is dangeraaas.That will be brilliant.

  • procold2 - 2012-01-24 16:17

    not hide info from SAFFAS , that is for know only so they can get this thing passed, who the hell spies on us anyway we have an open door policy even the money vaults are open and easily accessed by a privilaged few, sorry juju's appeal is top secret.

  • mark.p.vrdoljak - 2012-01-24 16:17

    So harming national interests is exposing corruption?? Sad attempt at trying to through a unconstitutional bill with some word play... But then again is should keep quiet before i get remedied like a cancer!!! There watching us watching them!!!

      mark.p.vrdoljak - 2012-01-24 16:31

      Cwele is so hoping the spies have such a hard time geting info that the funnel funds into his pocket for "secret info on our WMD's"!!!!

  • PaasHaas - 2012-01-24 16:18

    "He said if the head of an organ of state came across wrongdoing and the information was classified, they would be obliged to declassify that information." - yeah right, just they are obliged to provide services; need court orders to oblige them to pay medical bills; why they were obliged to threaten their MPs to vote for the bill, etc - sorry Dennis Dhlomo pull the other one!

  • The Real Unskinny - 2012-01-24 16:20

    Spy on us for WHAT?

      Theresa - 2012-01-24 16:27

      To see how a government can corrupt a country in less than 20 years?

  • PaasHaas - 2012-01-24 16:20

    I thought Spies was a Springbok rugby player, not a threat to our democracy.

      Bokfan - 2012-01-24 16:57

      Well spies is a threat to us winning any serious silverware.

  • Mike_or_Mpho - 2012-01-24 16:20


      Dewald - 2012-01-24 16:32

      Hey, I wanted to say that!!

  • Cindy - 2012-01-24 16:20

    Minister Cwele may I be so bold as to ask from which countries these hordes of foreign spies hail? I'm absolutely thrilled that little old SA is so important that every spy in the world is dying (or killing, stealing and cheating) to lay their hands on our secrets.... SA now is much, much more exciting than it was during the Cold War, isn't it?

  • nasheenar - 2012-01-24 16:24

    What sh@#!! is this @!*$# speaking seriously!!!!! "If I am a foreign spy - any legislation which makes my work harder won't be nice for me" Is this a 4 year old speaking ??????

  • Hermann - 2012-01-24 16:25

    Whaaahahahahahaha. Their imagination knows no limits. I nominate Cwele for the 2012 Noble Prize for Cockypop spreading.

  • Christopher - 2012-01-24 16:25

    Who wants to spy and infiltrate South Africa??!! We have nothing the rest of the world wants, we just have absolute idiots in high places.

  • Gregory Jurgens - 2012-01-24 16:25

    The spies going to see what a corrupt, thieving, self indulgent bunch of idiots are running the country. Major security risk.

  • Gideon - 2012-01-24 16:26

    They won't be the only ones who are "unhappy", try the public. Please tell me what sort of state secrets we posess that could be of any strategic importance whatsoever? Or are we too lazy to invest in counter-intelligence instead of trying to push through this bill? Not that any spies will be deterred by a piece of legislation, since when does the law prevent espionage?

  • Bruce - 2012-01-24 16:31

    why go to the effort of spying, when you can just pay one of the many corrupt officals to hand you the info.

  • Irene - 2012-01-24 16:32

    What this clown meant to say was that the ANC thieves will struggle under this info bill.

  • Irene - 2012-01-24 16:32

    Spies? What spies? Who are these idiots to be arrogant enough to think that anybody would want to spy on this crime-ridden cesspit?

  • Gregory Jurgens - 2012-01-24 16:34

    You been using that sh:t your wife brought into the country again.

  • PaasHaas - 2012-01-24 16:35

    Is Cwele's wife in jail yet?

      mark.p.vrdoljak - 2012-01-24 16:41

      thats a good question... soon to be classified!

      Gregory Jurgens - 2012-01-24 16:42

      She is snorting coke in Ju Ju's bunker.

  • Daan - 2012-01-24 16:40

    What the hell is worth spying on anyway? Corruption? Ancient technology? The prezz's airline movements?

  • Gavin.Meiring1 - 2012-01-24 16:42

    The spies are among us! They are here to steal our borewors recipes! Beware. Lock your kitchens. Minister Cwele, maybe we could use our submarines to catch these international scumbags. No, I think you should call Jack Bauer. Yes, he will catch the baddies and protect us. Mr Cwele, I think you are depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.

  • Sinudeity - 2012-01-24 16:43

    Bullsh1t. This bill isnt about 'foreign spies', its about silencing South Africans.

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-01-24 16:49

    This is the worst excuse I have ever heard. Do this oke really think we are all that stupid? Him and his party's got another thing coming.

  • Bokfan - 2012-01-24 16:54

    I thought drug peddling was a "growing cANCer" and yet you didnt know your own wife was doing it until the media told you. In any event apart from Jellybum Malema's plans to nationalise every till in sight what on earth could be of interest to anyone out there.

  • Larry - 2012-01-24 17:00

    Foreign spies will always have access to anything they want in South Africa, because a government as corrupt and the ANC led Government, will sell their own mother for the right money. The Information bill is not about Foreign Spies, it is about keeping South Africans in the dark. Anyone can buy any document they need in South Africa.

  • Bokfan - 2012-01-24 17:01

    "He said if the head of an organ of state came across wrongdoing and the information was classified, they would be OBLIGED to declassify that information" Bwahahahahahahahahabwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha gasp Bwahahahahahahaahahha Gwdamighty that takes the cake that does. Whoeeee. I can see all these honest rentapol thieves frauds liars and cheats declassifying at the merest sniff of something rotten. Especially if it was coming from them.

  • Burtfred - 2012-01-24 17:10

    The "growing cancer" in our society is the corruption, cronyism and plain theft that the ANC has made a studied art of.

  • Piet - 2012-01-24 17:20

    This is absolutely you think Mr Minister, that real spies only use info “released”. O no I forget they use Google... You were still wearing leopard skins when real spying was perfected

      hielke.klooster - 2012-01-24 18:48

      Well said

  • Alva - 2012-01-24 17:24

    Obviously his wife peddling drugs was a big secret and that secret had to be maintained whenever necessary. Thank goodness for a free and loud mouth press!

  • John - 2012-01-24 17:29

    Is he serious?

  • Polotic - 2012-01-24 17:39

    It is just an excuse to justify the horrendous Info bill that the ANC are trying to steamroll through Parliament. Regrettably the ANC sycophants (ANC MP's)sitting in parliament are too stupid to see the dangers.

  • andrew.arnesen - 2012-01-24 17:54

    Spies wouldn't find it more difficult - members of the public and journalists will. Spies are trained to break in and steal information so they won't give a damn. The problem with this bill is that people who need access to that information (us, the public) are being shut out and this allows corruption to spread even more easily. Who are we at war with and what breakthrough technology is the ANC wanting to hide??? PS - that was totally rhetorical!!

  • Lesley - 2012-01-24 18:11

    What info could we possibly have that anyone from another country would want. I think that the minister is trying to justify his postion and bloated benefits.

  • Heinrich - 2012-01-24 18:24

    This is very good. Only ANC will have classified information. Now it can be sold at a higher price and ANC can become richer.

  • Heinrich - 2012-01-24 18:30

    This is a Minister ! Would anyone of you follow his orders if he were your commander in wartime? The whole ANC is rotten. And I don't mean they are happy. And I won't apologize.

  • Gerhard - 2012-01-24 18:44

    When I hear crap like this from a SA minister I am deeply worried about SA.

  • hielke.klooster - 2012-01-24 18:46

    What bull.........spying conspiracies .... This idiot takes SA for a stupid audience...

      Deon - 2012-01-24 20:12

      No, his inflated ego leads him to believe that, because he is stoopid and a minister (more of a minstrel if you ask me), everybody else must be even more stoopid

  • Showerhead Zooma - 2012-01-24 20:08

    What a buffoon. LOL

  • Heinrich - 2012-01-24 20:36

    I think the Sinister Minister is quite correct. Spies normally wear long dark coats, sunglasses and hats. They always hide behind their newspapers. If information wasn't classified, it will be in the newspaper. This is too easy for the spies to get. Now the minister want's to make it more difficult for them. I think, however that the proposed legislation will be unconstipational. It will impinge on the rights of the spies, whose union at this point in time is also planning a protest against the languages used in South African newspapers. They plan to have an undercover march to demand the use of, inter alia, Chinese.

      Nikki Bodenstein - 2012-01-25 00:38

      Lmfao!!!!!! Classic!

  • Deepchund - 2012-01-24 20:43

    B..l s..t baffles brains. What a load of crap. Everybody knows the bill is aimed at ensuring the corruption within the government departments continues without the public knowing. This is democracy,Africa style.Voters need to wake up.

  • Nikki Bodenstein - 2012-01-25 00:37

    Spies? Really? Lol...who the hell wants to spy on South Africa and these idiots running it?

  • andy.beak - 2012-01-25 13:09

    The amount of money Zuma, Shaik, and Maharaj made on the Arms Deal would no doubt be highly classified information. And the "head of an organ of state" is most likely some fat corrupt ANC politician who is extremely unlikely to declassify anything that makes the party look bad. Ultimately it doesn't matter what the press prints. ANC voters don't vote ANC because of principles or policies - they vote on racial grounds. Pointing out corruption, nepotism, and improper expenditure to somebody who has been living in a shack for 17 years of ANC misrule won't stop them from voting ANC. They will toyi-toyi and burn down infrastructure, but refuse to protest at the ballot box. Thus the Secrecy Bill is a waste of time for the ANC. The press is irrelevant to their continued hegemony.

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