Committee to meet on ‘secrecy bill’

An ad hoc committee will meet to consider Zuma’s reservations about the ‘secrecy bill’.

The Protection of State Information Bill. Picture: Regan Thaw/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - A parliamentary ad hoc committee is scheduled to meet today to discuss amendments to the contentious Protection of State Information Bill.

Last month, President Jacob Zuma announced that he would not sign the so called 'secrecy bill' into law because certian sections lacked coherence and meaning.

In a letter to the National Assembly speaker, Zuma said two sections in particular would not pass constitutional muster.

The President said there were still problems with the draft law, particularly in two sections dealing with penalties.

The bill has been met with fierce opposition by a number of civil society groups and opposition parties who claim it could stifle media freedom.

The bill's opponents have also criticised the ANC for using its majority in Parliament to bulldoze the bill into law.

The Right2Know (R2K) Campaign's Murray Hunter says there are still many concerns surrounding the draft law.

"This problem came about because Parliament didn't do its job in fixing the secrecy bill. They passed a bill that the president himself has said is unconstitutional. It's absolutely vital that Parliament actually does its job, doesn't pass unconstitutional laws and doesn't try and fix this within two days."