24 June 2008

SAHA and NMF submit recommendations on draft of new secrecy legislation

In June 2008, the South African History Archive and Nelson Mandela Foundation have submitted recommendations on the existing draft of the Protection of Information Bill to Parliament’s ad hoc committee on intelligence legislation.

The proposed legislation will replace the existing apartheid-era secrecy laws that allowed for comprehensive concealment of state documents. The suggested new law certainly represents important complement to existing access to information laws developed under our constitutional dispensation. Despite a clear commitment to greater transparency and accountability, however both SAHA and the NMF have raised several concerns in their submission regarding the effective coherence of the Bill with the primacy of the Promotion of Access to Information Act, the inclusion of very broad definitions regarding key concepts such as ‘national interest’, and the absence of an independent adjudication capacity to deal with refusals and appeals.

SAHA / NMF Submission on Protection of Information Bill (2008)