'Disclosure of SA's national key points will compromise its safety'

The state has argued that the disclosure of the country's national key points will compromise its security.

Right2Know Campaign members protest and sing outside the Johannesburg High Court on 24 November 2014. Picture: Mia Lindeque/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The High Court in Johannesburg has heard that the disclosure of the country's national key points will compromise its safety.

The Right2Know Campaign (R2K) has turned to the court to set aside the police service's refusal to disclose the list.

The state is arguing that the list of 200 places declared national key points must not be published as the description of the areas will compromise the entire country's safety.

Judge Roland Sutherland questioned why the names of the points are being kept secret saying he's astonished because the National Key Points Act of 1980 never indicated that this list must be kept a secret.

The state also argued certain important areas cannot be disclosed because the public cannot afford to lose them due to "dark forces".

But the R2K Campaign argued that ministers constantly reveal locations of national key points in Parliament without compromising the security of the country.

Arguing on behalf of the two applicants, advocate Steven Budlender said 20 percent of the list has already been made public by Members of Parliament.

He said despite this, the country's safety has still not been compromised.

There are several offences under the act which he argued the public must be made aware of in order to avoid trespassing and imprisonment.

Budlender also accused the state of abusing the act and suppressing crucial debates.

Last year, opposition Members of Parliament blasted the act, labelling it an outdated law which should be repealed in its entirety.

Some of the criticisms levelled include the fact that a list of national key points has not been made public and was used to cover up the Nkandla scandal.