POSIB heads to National Assembly

The committee tasked to deal with Jacob Zuma's referral concluded its work on Thursday.

The Protection of State Information Bill is expected to come before the National Assembly later this month.

CAPE TOWN - The Protection of State Information Bill is expected to come before the National Assembly later this month.

Once approved, it will go to President Jacob Zuma to be signed into law.

Zuma referred the bill back to Parliament last month saying some clauses lacked meaning.

The committee tasked to deal with Zuma's referral concluded its work on Thursday.

The corrections were technical, but important.

In total, two clauses were changed and three spelling errors were corrected.

Without thee clauses, officials using the secrecy bill to cover up crime or mistakes would have gone unpunished and journalists and whistleblowers using classified information to expose criminal activity would face jail time.

But the Democratic Alliance, Inkatha Freedom Party and African Christian Democratic Party abstained from voting on the amendments, holding to their position that Zuma was vague in saying what he wanted done with the bill.

The bill has been criticised by many organisations, including the Right2Know campaign.

Critics of the bill say it will muzzle the media, cover up corruption and result in the prosecution of whistleblowers.