What do you know about the “Protection of Information Bill” in South Africa?
You'll want to read this… "PROTECTION OF INFORMATION BILL" - Do you know what that is ??? For those of you avid News24.com or iol.co.za readers or those of you who just like to keep in the know regarding South African news and politics will know about it. If not, you're about to find out.
Earlier last year the current South African Government, the ANC, proposed a piece of legislature called "The Protection of Information Bill" also referred to as the "Secrecy Bill". Basically what this bill will do, is allow the South African government to "classify" information for the sake of "National Interest". In theory that is fine, however there is a much bigger dark side to this, the SA government are taking it a tad too far, because it gives our beloved ministers way too much power and authority to quite easily cover their tracks. Compared to the US equivalent law, this bill is ridiculous. The days of government transparency and accountability will be gone gang!! All those juicy million and billion Rand government tenders we keep hearing about in the media, that get awarded to Government officials' cousins, aunties, uncles and other chommas, will go on freely and completely under the radar. To be honest, we wouldn't even know about it because all that kak will be labelled as "classified". Corruption scandals which breakout via the media and rock public opinion of SA's current ruling party, would all be silenced. It is said that "whistleblowers" who expose anything that is deemed classified, could face imprisonment of up to 25 years, so nobody is gonna push their luck with it. I definitely wouldn't want to be a reporter dude exposing the next corruption case when it could land my ass behind bars for around the same length of time that Nelson Mandela was locked up. If we just look at our Zimbabwean neighbours, we can see where zero press freedom got them. Basically this bill is a repeat of the press gagging laws of the Apartheid era where the press was highly censored with what they could and couldn't print… pure example of this was the DA's very own Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, assisting in breaking the story about the murder of Steve Biko during apartheid, they got in groot kak.
When the bill was announced, shortly on the heals of the proposed "Media Appeals Tribunal", it stirred up everyone from human rights movements to opposition parties to media organisations and the general public. Provoking a gasping frenzy amongst thousands and fast becoming the talking point amongst millions of South Africans who fully understood its implications, which is why I'm explaining this all to you, because if you didn't quite get it before then I'm sure you fully understand now, and I guarantee you're feeling a little uncomfortable about it.
Now the other day I ran into an active bunch of passionate fellow Saffa's outside Wimbledon station. A bunch of guys and girls from the Democratic Alliance who form the "DA Abroad". They'd decided to take action and do something about this "Secrecy Bill". They were out there braving the cold on the Broadway to collect signatures for a national petition that's being run across South Africa, in protest against this load of bullshit. Not only were they collecting signatures for the petition, but they were also speaking to fellow South Africans and creating awareness about the "Secrecy Bill" and how we as South Africans overseas can get involved and do something about what's going on. As you can see in the pic, thats me tjooning "Nought Bru"
Whether or not you even voted for the DA, you gotta hand it to these okes from "DA Abroad". Its about time us Saffas over here joined the voices of our family and friends back home in SA by taking action and doing something. I may be wrong, but if I remember correctly, they played a key part in letting us vote in the SA Elections here in the UK.
Anyone interested to find out more or to get involved check out their website http://www.da-abroad.org/
and facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/DA-Abroad-UK/129672607065862
Or email my main man, Lloyd Robinson on firstname.lastname@example.org
Also see the Right2Know Campaign http://www.r2k.org.za
Comment below and tjoon me what you reckon about it….
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