SANEF: Info Bill Must Go to ConCourt

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.

NGO Urges Zuma Not to Sign Info Bill

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.

Zuma to Receive Secrecy Bill

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.

Zuma Will Not Comment on POIB

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.”

MPs Vote in Favour of Information Bill

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.

R2K Protest Against the Secrecy Bill

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.

Newsmaker of the Year Award for R2K

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.

Activists Vow to Challenge the Secrecy Bill

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.

ANC Adopts Secrecy Bill Final Draft

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.

Kasrils Slams the Information Bill

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.


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