NCOP deliberates on POIB

The ANC says it respects calls for a public interest clause in the contentious secrecy bill.

Protection of State Information Bill. Picture: Chantall Presence/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The ANC on Wednesday reiterated that it respects calls for a public interest clause in the contentious Protection of State Information Bill.

The ad hoc committee in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) resumed its deliberations on the so-called secrecy bill in Parliament.

The ANC's Siphiwo Mazosiwe took consolatory approach by saying parties are far closer to each other than before.

He explained the bill must conform to democratic principles enshrined in the constitution.

On the contentious public interest defence clause, Mazosiwe said in line with this, all citizens have a right to information, but this must be balanced with national interest.

He reiterated this aspect of the bill is accepted worldwide.

This is seen as a major compromise of sorts by the ruling party.

The controversial bill was first past in November 2011 despite a huge outcry from opposition parties and other civil organisations.

The critics of the bill fear it will allow corruption to flourish.