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The ANC’s insistence in pushing through with the Secrecy Bill in its present version, sees the dark clouds of the securocrat past gathering around us. What is particularly troubling is that this Bill abrogates the ANC’s own struggle history, its stated commitments to an open/transparent state and society and will provide the enabling (legal) framework/cover for the future use of State Security agencies for party political and factionalist purposes that could see South Africa moving backwards to the kind of secret society that so many fought so hard against.
Yes, we need a piece of legislation that can replace the old 1982 Protection of Information Act but no, this is not that legislation. The stakes are far too high for ours and future generations to allow this Secrecy Bill to become law; a law that has the potential to take us right back to the same secret society that we thought had been vanquished.
To voice our outrage the Right2Know Campaign will hold six separate protest pickets across South Africa on Tuesday 22 November. We demand that the current version of the Secrecy Bill be withdrawn, that a process of meaningful public consultation must take place, and that the bill should meet the list of demands contained in the R2K 7 point freedom test.