The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) calls for the Protection of State Information Bill to be sent to the Constitutional Court for ratification before it is signed into law.
In a statement to mark International Press Freedom Day, SANEF’s chairperson, Mpumelelo Mkhabela, says a public interest defence clause in the Bill would truly enhance the ability of media to assist in the fight against corruption.
Mkhabela notes that, “The Bill is arguably the biggest threat to press freedom and freedom of expression since the dawn of democracy. We stand ready to challenge it in court should the president sign it into law.”
To read the article titled, “Info bill must go to constitutional court - SANEF,” click here.Source:Mail and Guardian
The South African National Editors' Forum (SANEF) has urged President Jacob Zuma not to sign the Protection of State Information Bill (Secrecy Bill) into law in its current form.
In a press statement, SANEF states that it is concerned with the “…provisions that allow for broad classification of information, including that which has nothing to do with security of the state,” as well as delegating authority to ambiguous state officials to classify information.
The organisation believes that the Bill criminalises the ownership and dissemination of classified state information, even if such information is in the public interest.
To read the article titled, “SANEF urges Zuma not to sign info bill,” click here.Source:IOL News
The Right2Know Campaign says that President Jacob Zuma will receive the Protection of State Information Bill (Secrecy Bill) this week.
Civil society groups and opposition parties have opposed the bill as the law could stifle media freedom by preventing the press from reporting on certain issues.
Critics have called on the president to refer the matter to the Constitutional Court.
To read the article titled, “Zuma to receive Info Bill,” click here.Source:iafrica
The Presidency says that President Jacob Zuma will not comment on issues surrounding the Protection of State Information Bill (Secrecy Bill) until he has formally received it.
Presidential spokesperson, Mac Maharaj, points out that, “The legislature, the judiciary and the executive are the three arms of governance of South Africa and, when the president formally receives the bill that Parliament has passed, he will address issues relating to the enactment of the bill into law.”
Maharaj says that until then, it will be premature and disrespectful of the legislature for the president to comment on the bill.
To read the article titled, “Zuma mum on Info Bill,” click here.Source:Independent Online
The Protection of State Information Bill (Secrecy Bill) has been passed by Parliament with 189 votes in favour, 74 against and one member who abstained from voting.
The bill has been one of the most hotly contested legislative proposals of President Jacob Zuma’s administration, who argue that it is needed to provide more effective regulations for managing sensitive information.
Under pressure from critics, the bill has already been heavily revised, removing provisions that would have allowed almost any government agency to classify material. The revisions also increase penalties on those who abuse the system and step up public interest safeguards.
To read the article titled, “MPs give secrecy bill the thumbs-up,” click here.Source:The Citizen
The Right2Know Campaign (R2K) has protested outside Luthuli House, the African National Congress (ANC) headquarters in Johannesburg, and Parliament in opposition to the Protection of State Information Bill, which was passed on 25 April 2013.
The activist group is of the view that it is not too late for the ANC to abandon its launch of the controversial bill.
Right2Know said by going ahead with the passage of the bill, the ANC will be turning its back on what it spent decades fighting for.
To read the article titled, “R2K to oppose Secrecy Bill outside Luthuli House,” click here.Source:City Press
The Right2Know (R2K) campaign has been voted Johannesburg Press Club 2012 newsmaker of the year.
Accepting the award in Johannesburg, R2K campaign Gauteng spokesperson, Jayshree Pather, described as a victory for people’s power.
Johannesburg Press Club chairperson, Mixael de Kock, says the R2K, comprising more than 400 organisations with 30 000 members, had relentlessly pursued the public's right to understand the full scope of the Protection of State Information Bill and how it will impact the media and every citizen of this country.
To read the article titled, “Right2Know campaign voted newsmaker of the year,” click here.Source:Times Live
The Right2Know Campaign has warned it will launch a constitutional challenge to the Protection of State Information Bill (Secrecy Bill) if it is signed into law without further amendments.
In a press statement, the organisation argues that, "The secrecy bill remains a threat to our democracy and we will continue our campaign to stop the secrecy bill."
The organisation says despite last-minute amendments, the bill still clash with the constitutional rights to freedom of information and expression and is likely to lead to over-classification.
To read the article titled, “Activists vow to challenge info bill,” click here.Source:News24
The African National Congress (ANC) has adopted the final draft of the Protection of State Information Bill (Secrecy Bill) in the absence of opposition parties, who walked out in protest.
The eight ruling party MPs on the ad hoc committee handling the draft official secrets law voted unanimously to adopt a report to the National Council of Provinces outlining changes made to it in the past year.
Meanwhile, committee chairperson, Raseriti Tau, accuses the opposition of reneging on an agreement to adopt the report. However, the Democratic Alliance’s Alf Lees, says the undertaking could not stand given the delay in producing the document.
To read the article titled, “ANC adopts final info bill draft,” click here.Source:News24
Former Intelligence Minister, Ronnie Kasrils, has told a group of protestors outside Parliament that there are too many things going wrong in the country for critics of the so-called Info Bill to be silenced.
Kasrils joined a group of demonstrators from the lobby group Right to Know Campaign (R2K), who are camping outside the parliamentary gates to protest against the Protection of State Information Bill.
“If we've been associated with the ANC [African National Congress] 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.”
To read the article titled, “Kasrils slams Info Bill,” click here.Source:Independent Online