THE Protection of InformationBill is temporarily shelved, ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga said on Tuesday.
Why should you care? It won’t affect you? This is where you are wrong.
The Bill, or ‘Secrecy Bill’ as it is known among critics, is a threat to media freedom and freedom of expression.
If you publish a state secret or just have classified information in your posession you could serve between 15 to 25 years in jail.
Pick n Pay chairman Gareth Ackerman told Business Report that the Bill was bad for business.
“It not only imposes restrictions on access to government information but… it refuses to recognise the ethical foundations of whistle-blowing, denies a public-interest defence to those who seek to publish wrongdoing, and entrusts the decision as to what should be defined as secret to unaccountable functionaries,” he said.
The Bill’s preamble says it recognises the importance of information to national security, acknowledges the harm of excessive secrecy, affirms the constitutional framework for regulation of access to information and desires and aims to promote the free flow of information and a transparent framework.