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 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.
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.
(Click on the infographic below to get the full, detailed analysis!)