14 February 2013

R2K shows the Secrecy Bill no love!

Today, 14 February 2013, the Gauteng Right2Know campaign picketed outside Constitution Hill precinct in protest of the Secrecy Bill.

Members of the campaign line up on Joubert Street held out red cards and plackets and blew on their whistles when provincial coordinator, Bongani Xeswi, shouted "blow the whistle on the secrecy bill."

The picket coincided with the opening of parliament and aimed to remind citizens of the draconian bill.  After more than two years of intensive campaigning and over 30 versions of the Bill emanating from both houses of Parliament, the Secrecy Bill is poised to be passed into law.

The Right2Know Campaign returns to its founding statement and concludes that - despite the many amendments we have secured - the Secrecy Bill still fails the Right2Know 7-Point Freedom Test on all counts.

The R2K finds that "the Secrecy Bill still carries the fingerprints of the securocrats 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."

For more detail on the campaign's remaining concerns with the bill, review the Right2Know Campaign statement: What's still wrong with the secrecy bill?