Stop the National Assembly from Passing of the Secrecy Bill

transparency freedom of expression Secrecy Bill
Tuesday, 22 November, 2011 - 11:56

South Africans are urged to take five minutes of their time to call the offices of the African National Chief Whip, Mathole Motshekga, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, and the constituency offices at the telephones numbers provided to stop the National Assembly from passing the Protection of State Information Bill (Secrecy Bill), a draconian Bill which risks reversing the hard won gains of our 17-year democracy

Dear friends across South Africa,

We literally only have hours now to stop the Protection of State Information Bill (Secrecy Bill) before the National Assembly votes on it this afternoon.

We stopped it last time after over 35 000 of us sent messages to the Chief Whips and thousands of us took to the streets two months ago, they postponed the vote. Now, the unchanged Bill is being pushed back to the floor after a sham public consultation this weekend that was only announced on the evening of Friday, 18 November 2011, and the African National Congress (ANC) majority could force it through!

The same Chief Whips have the final word on the vote this afternoon -- if we call on them and Deputy President, Kgalema Motlanthe, the one outspoken ANC MP, we could block this shockingly regressive Bill.

We only have few hours! Call the Chief Whips' and Motlanthe's offices now to halt the vote and protect our democracy -- it'll only take five minutes. Let's give them the public consultation that they have ignored:

  • Call Motshekga's office: 021 403 3860;
  • Call Magwanishe's offices: Cape Town -- 021 403 2211 // Constituency -- 011 873 7753;
  • Call Davidson's office: 083 302 2199;
  • Call Ntwanambi's offices: Cape Town -- 021 403 2429 // Constituency -- 021 785 4610;
  • Call Motlanthe's office: 021 403 2353.

Suggestions for your call:

Say that you want the ANC to halt the vote and throw out this draconian bill that puts a shroud over government and undermines South Africa's hard won freedoms.

Say that the public consultations were a sham with practically no one there and you expect the process to be revised and a real public consultation to take place as promised by the Chief Whips in September 2011.

Appeal to Deputy President Motlanthe to use his powers to halt the vote until a public interest defence clause is included as he announced earlier this month.

Say you specifically object to a Secrecy Law that gives up to 25 year jail sentences for anyone holding classified information, removes any protection for whistleblowers,  has no public interest clause, and has no independent appeals mechanism.

Say this vote could not come at a more worrying time, as more and more outrageous stories are coming out about government cronyism and corruption.

If you get a busy signal, don't stop calling. That means we're jamming their phone lines and the pressure on them is rising! Call now and help spread the word!

After calling, post a message about how the call went to help Avaaz count the number of calls made, and demonstrate the wave of national protest to this Bill being tabled, we will give the numbers to the media.

This is our last chance to stop the NA vote on this bill and standup against this fatal pillage of South Africa's democracy.

With hope and determination, Alice, David, Sam, Pascal, Ricken, Rewan and the whole Avaaz team


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