JOHANNESBURG – The Right2Know Campaign said on Wednesday the translation of the Protection of State Information Bill (POSIB) into South Africa’s 11 official languages is expected to be finished by the end of the week.
From there the so-called Secrecy Bill will land on President Jacob Zuma’s desk to be signed into law.
The bill has been in the making for years but remains controversial and contested.
Civil society groups and opposition parties have opposed the bill as the law could stifle media freedom by preventing the press form reporting on certain issues.
The Info Bill could also result in the prosecution of whistleblowers.
The campaign’s Murray Hunter said the President could receive the bill as early as next week.
“I think he’s heard the concerns members of the public have. Members of the public can also petition on our website of they have concerns about the constitutionality of the bill as well.”
But critics have called on the President to refer the matter to the Constitutional Court.
If Zuma fails to hand the proposed law to the top court, groups have vowed to legally challenge the bill themselves.
Meanwhile, the South African Press Council used World Press Freedom Day on Friday last week to remind the public of its right to information.
Several demonstrations took place across the country to commemorate the day.
The council also raised its concerns about the state of the press in the country.
The council’s Raymond Louw said the media has a duty to fulfill in society.
Critics of the bill believe it would allow corruption to flourish as whistleblowers could face imprisonment.
This article was written by Alex Eliseev and appeared on Eyewitness News on 9 May 2013.