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ANC chief whip supports 'secrecy bill'

The office of ANC chief whip believes the current Protection of State Information Bill is of quality.

A copy of the controversial Protection of State Information Bill. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The office of ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga believes the current Protection of State Information Bill is of quality.

The controversial bill, dubbed the secrecy bill, was approved by ANC MPs and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) last week.

It has undergone more than 1,000 changes and more than 100 meetings have been held to discuss it.

Motshekga's spokesperson, Moloto Mothapo, on Sunday said the bill did not seek to regulate the media as had been widely feared.

"What we have is a complete redraft and it actually makes complete nonsense of those who believe it must be completely scrapped."

Meanwhile, Congress of the People (COPE) MP Dennis Bloem has made a last minute plea to fellow parliamentarians.

"We don't want our children and generations to come and spit on our graves and say 'here lays a traitor'."

Democratic Alliance (DA) member of the NCOP in KwaZulu-Natal, Alf Lees, said the bill would be abused.

"Given the extremely high levels of corruption that we see in government, it is inevitable that the bill enacted will be used to cover up crime and corruption by those who wish to escape exposure."

The bill seeks to regulate the classification, protection and distribution of state information raising questions about transparency and the right to freedom of expression.

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