SA secrecy bill hearings commence

SA secrecy bill hearings commence

Date: February 3, 2012
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When all seemed lost after the Secrecy Bill got a nod from the majority South Africa (SA) parliamentarians in November, a flickering light of hope is appearing at the end of the tunnel again. Public hearings organised by National Council of Provinces ad hoc committee on the Protection of State Information Bill offer a democratic opportunity to SA citizens to finally have a say on this pending law.

From the time it got drafted, the bill has received numerous criticisms from the civil society, human rights and media activists until when the ruling ANC bulldozed and passed the bill last year. Activists argue that if the bill is signed into a law, it will not only jeopardise media freedom but will dismantle SA’s democracy as a whole.

The public hearings which commenced on 31 January in Western Cape and will run until 1 March will allow the general public to have a say on the bill. The hearings are expected to take place in all nine provinces of the country. Hopefully after these hearings, authorities will take into consideration people’s views on this controversial bill which has been labelled draconic by many activists.


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