Parts of POSIB to be tweaked

The ANC has voted for only two sections of the so-called Secrecy Bill to be changed.

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

CAPE TOWN - The ANC on Wednesday used its majority to allow for only two sections of the contentious Protection of State Information Bill (POSIB) to be tweaked.

President Jacob Zuma sent the bill back to Parliament, saying certain sections lacked coherence and rendered it unconstitutional.

The president's decision unleashed a debate in which civil rights groups pushed for the entire overhaul of the bill.

The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP)'s Steve Swart said Zuma should be asked for clarity.

"It's not that we have a secret agenda or anything, but we do want to have legal clarity as to where we are going."

State law advisor Enver Daniels insisted the committee was limited to correcting only the two sections.

Opposition politicians complained the process was unconstitutional.

But when it came to a show of hands, the ANC easily won the day.

The controversial bill was first passed by the National Assembly in 2011.

Several organisations, including the South Africa National Editors' Forum (Sanef), expressed concern that the bill would promote secrecy and persecute journalists.

Other critics say the bill will allow corruption to flourish.