New South Africa secrecy bill threat to democracy say opponents
South Africa’s ruling ANC is preparing to push a new secrecy bill through parliament despite fears it will threaten democracy and silence investigative journalists.
The Protection of State Information bill will punish the possession or release of classified documents and carries a 25-year jail term.
Nobel prize winner Desmond Tutu and the office of former president Nelson Mandela have joined in the outcry against the bill.
The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory says four changes could be made to the proposed bill without compromising its fundamental principles.
These include reformulating the bill’s wording so that a record may not be classified if the public interest in the disclosure of the record clearly outweighed any harm to national security.
South Africa’s press regularly uncovers allegations of graft that reach to the highest level of government. (via RFI)