Right2Know Campaign (Cape Town)

28 November 2012

South Africa: The NCOP Secrecy Bill Still Fails R2k's 7-Point Freedom Test

On Thursday 29 November (tomorrow) the National Council of Provinces may vote to take the Secrecy Bill one step closer to becoming a Secrecy Law.

After more than two years of intensive campaigning the Right2Know returns to our founding statement and concludes that - despite the many amendments we have secured - the Secrecy Bill still fails our Right2Know 7-Point Freedom Test on all counts: See our detailed assessment here.

The Right2Know Campaign calls on all members of the NCOP to remember the oath they took to uphold the Constitution and vote with their conscience rather than party loyalty to reject this Bill at Thursday's vote.

The Secrecy Bill still carries the fingerprints of the securocats who have remained the 'hidden hand' behind this process from the start. The finalised NCOP version criminalises the public for possessing information that has already been leaked, protects Apartheid-era secrets, and still contains broad definitions of National Security that will in all likelihood be used to suppress legitimate disclosures in the public interest. In short, the Secrecy Bill remains a clear threat to South Africa's right to know.

The Campaign remains committed to fighting for a just classification law that governs how the State should keeps very limited secrets. The Secrecy Bill remains a threat to our democracy and we will continue our campaign to Stop the Secrecy Bill. If Parliament fails to introduce the necessary amendments and President Zuma signs it into law, the Right2Know will take the fight to the Constitutional Court.

Copyright © 2012 Right2Know Campaign. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.