SABC News - Secrecy Bill adopted by National Assembly:Tuesday 23 April 2013

Secrecy Bill adopted by National Assembly

Tuesday 23 April 2013 14:50

SABC

Since its introduction in 2008, the Secrecy Bill has been opposed by many civil rights groups

Since its introduction in 2008, the Secrecy Bill has been opposed by many civil rights groups (REUTERS)

The National Assembly's Adhoc Committee has adopted the Protection of State Information Bill dubbed the Secrecy Bill (POSIB),  despite objections from opposition parties.

The Democratic Alliance (DA), COPE and the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) have raised concerns to the Bill. The DA says the bill might  not be constitutional as it may infringe on the power of provinces in some respects.


The committee chairperson, Cecil Burgess, says the Bill is expected to be debated and finalised in the National Assembly on Thursday.


The bill was passed with amendments by the National Council of Provinces last November.  It was initially introduced to parliament by Ronnie Kasrils, the former State Security Minister, in 2008, who has since resigned and become one of its staunchest opponents. 



The Bill allows public officials the right to classify any information as secret

POSIB was formerly known as the Protection of Information Bill.


The Bill allows public officials the right to classify any information as secret and impose 25-year jail sentences on those who publish ‘classified’ information.

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