Secrecy bill passed once again

At least 225 MPs voted in favour of the controversial Protection of State Information Bill.

At least 225 MPs voted in favour of the controversial Protection of State Information Bill.

CAPE TOWN - The Protection of State Information Bill (POSIB) has once again been passed by the National Assembly.

It now only needs President Jacob Zuma's signature to become law.

The proposed law was first passed in Parliament two years ago.

But instead of signing it, Zuma referred the bill back to the National Assembly in September.

He said two sections did not make sense thus rendering the bill unconstitutional.

The freshly amended draft law came before Parliament on Tuesday afternoon.

House chairperson Cedric Frolick announced the outcome of the vote.

"Those in favour are 225 and those against are 88 and there are no abstentions. The question is accordingly agreed to and the bill will be sent to the president for assent."

It will replace 1982's Protection of State Information Act.

Opponents of the bill, including the Right2Know Campaign, have called for a public interest clause to be included in the bill.

Under the bill, whistleblowers may face prison sentences of up to 25 years.