ANC compromises on 'secrecy bill'

The ANC have agreed to scrap clause 1 (4) of the Protection of State Information Bill.

Protection of State Information Bill.

CAPE TOWN - The African National Congress on Tuesday agreed to yet another compromise over the contentious Protection of State Information Bill.

The ad hoc committee set up by the National Council of Provinces met again on Tuesday afternoon to deliberate on amendments to the so-called secrecy bill.

The ANC said it does not see any reason to push for the inclusion of clause 1 (4) which would have seen the bill overrule the progressive Promotion of Access to Information Act of 2000 if there were a conflict between the provisions of the two pieces of legislation.

It agreed the clause should be deleted altogether.

There were fears that had it been included and it could lead to legal challenges.

This was a major sticking point between the ANC and opposition parties.

However, despite this concession it seems the ruling party is unwilling to make any further changes regarding another point of contention, the addition of a public interest defence.