Here is a summary of some of the news coverage of R2K’s 2014 Secret State of the Nation Report:
It looks good on paper, but the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) is failing and less than 16 percent of requests for information in a year were successful, the Right2Know (R2K) Campaign says.
The organisation released its Secret State of the Nation Report 2014, a snapshot of some key trends that it said pointed to an increasingly secretive state and increasing politicisation of structures.”
– SA ‘becoming a secret state’, Cape Times
There is a clear decline in the willingness of state departments and organisations to provide the information they hold, information they are arguably required by law to share. Something is badly wrong with the amount of electronic surveillance formally conducted by the state. National Key Points – a problem in themselves – are being abused to suppress dissent. State security is being used to shield President Jacob Zuma. Political parties remain free to sell South Africa’s sovereignty unchecked.
Those are some of the known problems the Right2Know Campaign identified this week in its Secret State of the National Report, an annual measure of trends and problems in secrecy.”
– Secret state of SA: Too many unknowns, M&G Online
Although [the] ‘secrecy bill’ has not yet been signed into law, South Africa is fast becoming a ‘security state’ with information that ought to be freely available to the public being kept under wraps.
… Professor Jane Duncan, of Rhodes University, said secrecy in the intelligence, military and police services had “reached a peak during the Jacob Zuma administration”.
The Right2Know report also raises concerns about a recent ruling by the Seriti Commission of Inquiry into the arms deals that restricted the release of information.”
– Beware Big Brother SA, The Times
For the last few years, advocacy group Right2Know has been warning of a growing climate of secrecy within the South African government. Its just-released Secrecy Report for 2014 continues to sound alarm bells, pointing to the amount of government documents being classified as secret, the difficulty of getting hold of information, and an increasing sense of clampdown on protest.
“These policies are being driven by a climate of insecurity,” Hunter says. “But the point we need to make is that these policies actually create instability, conflict and a sense of national insecurity.”
– Right2Know: South Africa, State of Secrets, Daily Maverick
To borrow from Donald Rumsford’s over-quoted reply at a press briefing on weapons of mass destruction: when it comes to the relationship the South African government has with its citizens, it’s the unknown unknowns that are a bit of a problem.
That’s the key thing I took away from reading the latest Secret State of the Nation 2014 report, published by the Right to Know campaign (R2K), which was published today. We have no idea what the state is up to, because there’s just not enough transparency between governed and governors to ensure the democratic process.”
Many people are beginning to see what it means when the deputy minister accuses the head of a chapter nine institution of being a CIA agent. People also see it means when the security cluster assembles at parliament to implement its own security measures when it feels that parliamentarians are not towing the line. Furthermore, people see what it means when the president’s personal comfort becomes a matter of national security.”
– Right2Know worried about SA “secrecy”, SABC News