Right to Know Campaign: "Let the Truth Be Told! Stop the Secrecy Bill"

Posted by Celia Walter | 9 Sep, 2010

Over 200 civil society organisations and numerous prominent individuals have endorsed a civil society statement titled "Let the Truth Be Told! Stop the Secrecy Bill".

The statement characterises the Protection of Information Bill as fundamentally undermining the struggle for whistleblower protection and access to information and as  reminiscent of our apartheid past. The statement calls for a redrafting of the Bill to comply with the constitutional values of access to information and freedom of expression.

The Right to Know campaign will also be announcing plans to raise public concern about the Protection of Information Bill and other threats to the freedom of expression through a week of action that will commence on 19 October 2010 (the commemoration of Black Wednesday). The statement will remain open for further endorsements through the campaign website.

The 200 odd organisations endorsing the statement include Afesis-Corplan, the Alternative Information Development Centre, Amnesty International, Black Sash, Ceasefire Campaign, CIVICUS, Democracy Development Programme, Diakonia Council of Churches, Earthlife Africa, Freedom of Expression Institute, Gay & Lesbian Network, Idasa, Institute for Security Studies, Open Democracy Advice Centre, M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism (amaBhungane), National Welfare Forum, Palestine Support Committee, Professional Journalists’ Association, Section27, South African History Archives, and the South African National Editors Forum as well as various social movements including Equal Education, Social Justice Coalition, Social Movements Indaba, Treatment Action Campaign, and the Unemployed People’s Movement.

Over 400 individuals have also endorsed the Statement, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nadine Gordimer, Prof Kader Asmal, Zakes Mda, Dr Max Price, Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Zackie Achmat, Pieter-Dirk Uys, Mary Burton, Mazibuko K Jara, Andrew Feinstein, Richard Spoor, Andre Brink, Terry Bell, Laurie Nathan, Pierre de Vos, Max Du Preez, Paul Graham, Pippa Green, Prof Hoosen Coovadia and Breyten Breytenbach.

A full list of endorsing organizations and individuals will be released at the Statement launch.

http://www.right2know.org.za/

Resources

The documents for download below contain all the information needed to stay informed on how the bill will affect society.

Included is the actual bill that is being proposed, as well as a plain language version of the bill and various submissions to parliament by civil society.

The page is regularly updated with the latest documentation on the bill.

Documents / URLs

- Protection of Information Bill - In plain language
- Protection of Information Bill
- Submission from the Institute for Security Studies and the Open Society Justice Initiative to the Ad Hoc Committee considering the Protection of Information Bill
- Community Media Views
- South African Human Rights Commission submission
- South African History Archive and Nelson Mandela Foundation [SAHA and NMF] submission
- South African Media and Gender Institute [SAMGI] submission
- COSATU submission
- M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism Submission
- M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism Briefing Note What is wrong with the Protection of Information Bill
- Protection of Information Bill, Statement by Cardinal Napier
- Right2Know
- Video of R2K Cape Town Launch