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South Africa to adopt secrecy law as corruption wave sweeps public offices

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Sheria (The Law Forum)' started by ByaseL, Nov 22, 2011.

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    ByaseL JF-Expert Member

    Nov 22, 2011
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    By Edna Mubiru

    South Africa has a robust media, a strong civil society and an independent judiciary. These are the three pillars needed to fight corruption.

    However, one of the pillars, the media, is about to be made weaker with the proposed secrecy bill being discussed in the parliament today.

    “Anyone found with information that is classified will be prosecuted under this law if it is passed. In court, arguing that the information is of public interest will not be accepted as defence,” says David Lewis, the executive director of Corruption Watch, an organisation fighting corruption.

    The Protection of State Information Bill will be voted on today afternoon and African National Congress (ANC) is expected to use its majority in parliament to pass the bill. In the recent past, corruption scandals have dogged the ANC.

    Charges of corruption and tax evasion against Jacob Zuma, the president, were dropped just weeks before he was appointed president in 2009.
    The latest scandal involves Mac Maharaj, president Zuma’s spokesperson and former minister of transport, who allegedly received bribes worth $4.8b in a 1999 defence procument deal.