Tag Archives: Protection of State Information Bill

Zuma’s creaky legislative edifice under siege from gravity

While a president, by definition, oversees and takes responsibility for the exercise of state power, how they do so differs widely. Former president Thabo Mbeki was something of a control freak. He not only personally shaped all policy, but he also authorised every major exercise of state power and any government initiative of importance. It…

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Age of Truth…revolution betrayed?

Many hip-hop fans from the current generation may not know much about Prophets of da City (POC). Largely credited by academics for getting Cape Afrikaans hip-hop off the ground and paving the way for Spaza rappers, POC also put their heads on a block for their political principles … literally. The banned video “Understand Where…

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The flood caused by opening the Guptagate

It’s been three days since #Guptagate was the top trending topic in South Africa on Twitter and it does not seem like that’s going to change until the weekend. From recent observation, I’ve noted that South Africans are all too eager to jump on the bandwagon and add their two cents to any news story…

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Zuma grabs for a see-through fig leaf

The Protection of State Information Bill, dubbed the Secrecy Bill, is misnamed on both counts. Contrary to the labels, it will neither assure the safety of critical state information as its proponents claim, nor muzzle the media as its opponents fear. Let’s start with the fact that during the more than two years that the…

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A parliament that doesn’t respect itself

Dr Mathole Motshekga, ANC chief whip, at the end of June wrote in ANC Today that, “parliament survives on the confidence and respect the public have in it, without (which) its dignity and integrity is eroded”. The context was Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota sticking to his guns that President Jacob Zuma had violated his oath…

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Frank Chikane’s cautionary tale

Thabo Mbeki “looked like a soldier who was ready to die, if he had to, for the sake of his country; a lamb to be slaughtered for a cause”. This is Frank Chikane’s description of his leader waiting for word from the ANC on whether Mbeki was to step down from office. Chikane, who was…

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Suspicion-mongering to discredit critical civil society

Cynicism permeated the atmosphere at Parliament’s latest round of public hearings on the Protection of State Information Bill (POSIB), ringing alarm bells about increasing hostility emanating from parliamentarians towards civil society. While the interaction should be rigorous, as different views are tested, the mere hosting of public hearings should not in itself be contentious in…

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Fighting the Good Fight?

By Christopher Clark Over the past year or so, the profession of journalism has been under heavy attack from different sides. Even before the Protection of State Information, or secrecy, Bill crept on all fours into the South African Parliament, there was trouble. In the UK, the News of the World‘s scandalous phone hacking of…

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How spooky is President Zuma?

Boss, the old apartheid Bureau of State Security, is back, says Laurie Nathan, director of the Centre for Mediation in Africa. A process of ‘Stasi-fication’ is underway, claims DA MP David Maynier. What they are referring to is the proposed Intelligence General Laws Amendment Bill, the latest assault by the executive through the legislature on…

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