Quote of the week

This is a book of desire denied, of what the pain of that impotence drives people to do, and how it makes them unwilling contortionists and even co-conspirators in their oppression. From ‘The Transformation of Harry’: “And there we all were; in an uncertain country, ourselves uncertain. A land with a sly heart; and ourselves ready to be deceived.” For if colonialism was any one thing it was denial: denial of land, denial of African culture, denial of any form of psychic nourishment—including hope—denial of black existence itself. And neocolonialism is the denial that any of that is still happening. First published in 1978, The House of Hunger speaks, or rather shouts, forward from its own time to 2017. Perhaps the most painful parts of the book to read are those that show how little has changed in thirty-nine years. For if colonialism was any one thing it was denial: denial of land, denial of African culture, denial of any form of psychic nourishment—including hope—denial of black existence itself. And neocolonialism is the denial that any of that is still happening.

Efemia Chela
On The House of Hunger by Dambudzo Marechera
23 November 2011

Transcript of Secrecy BiIll Parliamentary Proceedings

PROTECTION OF STATE INFORMATION BILL

(Consideration of Report)

Mr C V BURGESS: Speaker, hon Deputy President, hon Ministers, hon Deputy Ministers… [Interjections.]

The SPEAKER: Order, hon members! [Interjections.]

Mr C V BURGESS: … hon Members of Parliament and visitors, the Protection of State Information Bill was recommitted to the ad hoc committee in terms of Rule 254 subsection 5(a) and a resolution passed in this House on 16 November 2011.

The resolution provided that the committee considers certain amendments which appeared on the Order Paper of Tuesday, 15 November 2011 under the name of the hon Oriani-Ambrosini. The committee met on Thursday, 17 November 2011 and considered the proposed amendments in terms of Rule 255. The hon member was present in the meeting and was given sufficient time in the committee to speak on his proposed amendments. He was unfortunately unable to persuade any of the committee members or political parties to support him. [Interjections.]

These amendments were then all considered individually and voted upon individually by the committee. All the proposed amendments were rejected by all members of the committee. Only the hon Oriani-Ambrosini voted in favour of his proposed amendments. [Interjections.]

On Friday, 18 November 2011 the committee met for the adoption of the committee report. The report was adopted unanimously. The hon Oriani-Ambrosini was unfortunately conspicuously absent from the meeting… [Laughter.] … having sent in an apology.

The Bill is therefore referred back to the House without any amendments. Thank you. [Applause.]

There was no debate.

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY (Mathole Motshekga): Speaker, on behalf of the ANC, I have the greatest pleasure… [Interjections.] … to move that the Report be adopted. [Applause.]

Question put: That the motion by the Chief Whip of the Majority Party for the Report to be adopted, be agreed to.

Division demanded.

The House divided.

Question agreed to.

Report accordingly adopted.

PROTECTION OF STATE INFORMATION BILL

(Decision on Question on Second Reading)

Mr M G ORIANI-AMBROSINI: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order [Interjections.]

The SPEAKER: Continue hon member.

Mr M G ORIANI-AMBROSINI: . . . and you received prior notice of this point of order in September. I submit to you that the House cannot proceed with this Bill because the Bill is in violation of our Rules as they relate to the title.

For two distinct and separate reasons; firstly, it was erroneously titled as section 75 rather than a combination of sections 75 and 76. Secondly, it contains provisions which are beyond the legislative competence of the National Assembly. The Bill in the sections that I am going to mention to you Mr Speaker provides in respect of provincial archives which are provincial competence and they in exclusive provincial competence.

Clause 33 subsection 4 makes provision on how documents are to be kept in archives. Clause 55 subsection 1 gives the power of the Minister to make regulations in respect of provincial archives.

Mr C V BURGESS: Mr Speaker…

Mr SPEAKER: Hon member, you have made your point and now you are making a political speech.

Mr M G ORIANI-AMBROSINI: No, I am just giving you the basis. . . [Interjections.]

The SPEAKER: Order hon members. Hon Oriani-Ambrosini, may I remind you that that matter has been dealt with at the committee meetings and that has been resolved in the committee.

Mr M G ORIANI-AMBROSINI: It is a point that is incumbent upon you to adjudicate Mr Speaker. I submit to you that this Bill violates the Rules and it has been improperly titled and that is the matter on which I would ask you Mr Speaker to rule. [Interjections.] [Applause.]

Ms M SMUTS: Mr Speaker, the hon Oriani-Ambrosini’s two arguments are in fact one argument; they are two sides of the same coin and it is in fact the DA’s argument. It has been our argument throughout the legislative process that this Bill ought to have been tagged section 76 because it deals with provincial archives and the provincial archives are the subject of the exclusive provincial legislative competence.

It is a matter on which we did deliberate as you indicate, on which I believe that the ANC took legal opinion and on which we then proceeded. It will Sir, be item 1 in any petition from our side to the President, depending on how our process unfolds. It will be item 1 for constitutionality in any challenge at the Constitutional Court.

We therefore must indicate that we support the hon Oriani-Ambrosini’s sentiments but as to whether the Rule applies Sir that is of course in your hands. [Applause.]

The SPEAKER: Thank you hon member, your concerns have been noted. Order hon members! Hon members will recall that the House debated the Bill last week after which the Acting Speaker recommitted the Bill to the ad hoc committee on Protection of Information Bill. There have been indications that certain parties wish to make declarations of vote. I will now allow for up to three minutes one member of each political party, wishing to make a declaration an opportunity. . . [Interjection.]

Dr C P MULDER: Hon Speaker, hon Speaker. . .

The SPEAKER: I am still announcing my decisions Sir; please wait until I am through.

As I was saying before I was interrupted, there have been indications that certain parties wish to make declaration of vote. I will now allow for up to three minutes one member of each political party, wishing to make a declaration an opportunity to do so. I now recognise the hon members.

Dr C P MULDER: Hon Speaker, on a point of order

The SPEAKER: Proceed Sir.

Dr C P MULDER: Thank you Sir. I heard that you listened to the hon Smuts then you went ahead to say what the procedure would be that there were declarations of vote. I did not hear rule on a point of order. I think you should rule on a point of order before we can proceed with any declaration of vote.

Mr SPEAKER: Order, hon members!

Mrs J D KILIAN: Speaker, on a point of order, yes I would like to add our voice to the request that you rule on this matter since it is very certain that this matter will go before the Constitutional Court and we, as the National Assembly should take every step to make sure that all due process was followed. [Interjections.]

Thank you.

The SPEAKER: I have ruled on the matter and we are proceeding but I have also indicated that the parties wishing to make a declaration will be given an opportunity to do so.

Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Mr Speaker, I have listened to you but I don’t know what you have ruled. Could you kindly rule again so that I may hear?

Dr C P MULDER: Hon Speaker, may I address you on the same point of order, with all due respect?

The SPEAKER: Hon members order!

Dr C P MULDER: Thank you sir. I took note that said after the hon Smuts spoke that you note what she said, and that is not the ruling sir. The second point is that you say that you would allow members to make declarations. With all due respect sir, it is in terms of the Rules that members are entitled to make declarations. It cannot be part of the ruling, I asked you to rule on a point of order.

The SPEAKER: I have ruled hon member but I will repeat that that is out of order. I have ruled. I now proceed to invite those parties wishing to make a declaration to indicate their interest in making a declaration. Does any party wish to make a declaration?

Mrs J D KILIAN: Speaker, on a point of order, can I just quickly refer you to the Rules. It says the question shall be deemed to have been fully put when the voices of the ayes and the noes have been given their own and thereafter a declaration will be taken. So, please can we first just have that part of the Rules? [Interjections.] It is in terms of Rule 82 Speaker.

The SPEAKER: Take your seat hon member. Are there any objections to the Bill being read a second time?

Question put.

Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Speaker, we disagree and we want a division.

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE OPPOSITION (Watty Watson): Hon Speaker, I don’t think division can be called at this stage because you have already ruled that you will hear declarations and the DA have indicated that we have a declaration. So, at this point, we cannot have a division.

The CHIEF WHIP OF THE MAJORITY PARTY (Mathole Motshekga): Hon Speaker, we support hon Watson on this matter. [Laughter.] [Applause.]

The SPEAKER: Hon member, yes, what is your point?

Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Mr Speaker, Rule 81(1) is very clear. The Presiding Officer may at any time after the question has been fully put, which is been done now, permit one member of each party to make a declaration. [Interjections.]

The SPEAKER: That is the point we are on hon member, I am not sure which other point you are on. Hon member please take your seat. I will now again, state that I will allow declarations from parties. Does any party wish to make a declaration?

Declarations of vote:

The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION (Lindiwe Mazibuko): Mr Speaker, it never should have come to this. [Interjections.] Today is a dark day for our young democracy. If passed … [Interjections.] … this Bill will unstitch the very fabric of our Constitution. It will criminalise the freedoms that so many of our people fought for. [Interjections.]

The SPEAKER: Hon members, order!

The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION (Lindiwe Mazibuko): What will you, the members on this side of the House, tell your grandchildren one day? [Interjections.] I know you will tell them that you fought for freedom. But will you also tell them you helped to destroy it … [Interjections.] … because they will pay the price for your actions today? Let this weigh heavy on your conscience as you cast your vote. [Interjections.]

The SPEAKER: The SPEAKER: Hon members, allow the speaker to be heard.

The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION (Lindiwe Mazibuko): Speaker, whatever happens in this House, we will not give up the fight. We have fought this Bill from the very first day it was tabled. And we will continue to do whatever it takes to defeat those who want to silence our citizens.

First, we will take the fight to the NCOP, where we will propose amendments including a clause to protect those who disclose state information in the public interest. [Applause.] If the Bill in its current form is passed in that House, we trust that the President will send it back to Parliament. Surely, he will see that it is unconstitutional. [Interjections.] But, Mr Speaker, if this Bill is signed into law, I will lead an application to the Constitutional Court to have the Act declared unconstitutional. [Applause.]

In terms of section 80 of the Constitution, the support of one third of the Members of this House will be enough to send this Bill directly to the Constitutional Court. I know that my colleagues on the opposition benches will support us. And I believe there are enough ANC MPs with a conscience who will do the right thing. [Interjections.]

Hon members, it is our duty to protect democracy. A Bill that poses a danger to our people’s freedom is before us. Let us vote against it today. But if it is passed, let the message ring out from this House across South Africa: The ANC has abandoned the values of its founders exactly 100 years after it was formed. [Applause.] Mr Speaker, the DA will oppose the Bill. [Applause.]

Mr S N SWART: Speaker, today, the whole of South Africa watches as we, in this House, decide whether to pass this Bill in its present form, or not. The Bill has undoubtedly been substantially improved and credit must be given for all parties involved for this. However, as we all know, the critical issue relates to the absence of the public interest defence. The ACDP maintains its view that no compelling argument has to date been presented, neither in the ad hoc committee nor here about including or not including such a public interest defence.

As argued by media lawyer, Dr Dario Milo, if documents can be released under the Promotion of Access to Information Act in the public interest, despite the threat that the contents pose to national security, it would be contradictory and unfair in parallel circumstances to criminalise the access, disclosure and continued possession of classified documents that are significant for the public. Given the history secrecy and oppression in our country, we should be setting the example of openness and transparency.

That is why we inserted the public interest override in the Promotion of Access to Information Act, which is unique worldwide. Whilst we acknowledge that the insertion of a public interest override in this Bill, similar to that in the Promotion of Access to Information Act, goes some way to remedy the defect, we, as the ACDP, believe it falls far short of a public interest defence.

It is ludicrous to compel a journalist or member of the public, who has leaked classified information which exposes state fraud or corruption, or even an imminent danger to public safety, to first surrender that document to the local Bobby at the police station before applying for declassification or approaching a court of law. Approaching a constable will no doubt result in an investigation into that journalist’s source. This will result in the chilling effect on press freedom in the country. At the very least, Deputy President, this public interest override should be expanded and strengthened during the NCOP process.

It is significant that the Public Protector has now also expressed concerns. She states that it is difficult to conceive of any situation where public power could be legitimate if it cannot be defended through the public interest override. As I pointed out last week, we already have a public interest defence in our criminal law in the Films and Publications Amendment Act. Our courts are, thus, well versed in applying this defence.

Whilst today’s process is not the end of the whole process as the NCOP will look at the Bill as well, as I said last week – and it wasn’t a threat –  I urge members, Minister, to look at section 80. On third of the members of this House can refer this Bill to the Constitutional Court. The good news is that the opposition does have a third of the members, and we will refer to the Constitutional Court. [Applause.]

We have a substantially improved Bill, but the insertion of a limited public interest defence will correctly balance the right of access to state information with legitimate national security concerns. Let us not fail the nation in this regard. The ACDP will not support this Bill. I thank you. [Applause.]

Mr M P LEKOTA: Speaker, I’m glad that we are addressing this question as members of the National Assembly this afternoon. This issue could have been resolved and still can be resolved.

The issue here is about whether an individual member of society who finds possession of state information, some of which is actually in the interests of the South African society, will be protected by this Parliament to make that information known, knowing that, if it is proven that it is in the interest of the public, that member of society will not suffer consequences of punishment. We should not have a law that makes it difficult for conscientious citizens – patriots in fact – to put forward information that will help the nation, thereby placing them in same position as someone who might have that information for opposite objectives. [Interjections.] That is the question before this society.

Many of us in this House have been through years during which citizens who were patriots fighting against apartheid were detained … [Interjections.] … for no reason other than they were saying it is wrong to discriminate between black and white. Allister Sparks, who was editor of the Rand Daily Mail, often reported on issues which were right for the cause of the Constitution that we have today.

Many of us sitting in this House, including the leader of the DA, were journalists. Helen Zille was a journalist of theRand Daily Mail when Sparks and the Rand Daily Mail were banned. The Rand Daily Mail was banned for saying it is wrong to discriminate between black and white. Sparks was classified a communist when he was not even a member of the SA Communist Party. We are now creating exactly the same situation as the one we faced during that time.

I shudder to think of the future of my children and yours. I shudder when I think of the future of journalists who will come from amongst our ranks, who will want to alert this country that something injurious to our society is being done in its name, such as what Maharaj’s revelation has shown this weekend. [Applause.] I shudder to think that men and women who will say that money is being stolen will be locked up in the name of the ANC.

Mrs W J NELSON: Chairperson!

The SPEAKER: Hon member, your time has expired.

Mr M P LEKOTA: I’m ashamed that this is the party that is putting that forward.

The SPEAKER: Hon member, your time has expired!

Mr M P LEKOTA: Together with my party, we will not vote for this legislation! [Interjections.]

The SPEAKER: Hon member, you have the floor.

Mrs W J NELSON: Speaker! Hon Speaker!

The SPEAKER: Order, hon members! Order! There is a point of order at the back. What is the point of order, madam?

Mrs W J NELSON: Speaker, I have been trying to draw attention for quite a while. Is it correct that members in the gallery, our guests here today, partake in this debate by clapping hands? [Interjections.]

The SPEAKER: Order, hon members! I would like to remind people in the gallery that they are guests in this House, and I would appeal to you not to interrupt the proceedings by continuously clapping. Continue, hon member, or begin.

Dr C P MULDER: Mr Speaker, democracy is much more than just free elections and an effective opposition. Which country in Africa has the strongest opposition in terms of numbers? The answer is Zimbabwe, but without whistleblowers and with comprehensive limitations on the media, the Zimbabwean opposition is paralysed when it comes to exposing corruption. With this legislation, we are regressing in this direction. In an effective democracy, the opposition needs a variety of instruments to be functional. These include, for example, having regular erections, a functional Parliament with frequent question time, free media, an Auditor-General, and financial statements.

The SPEAKER: Order, hon members!

Dr C P MULDER: Sir, without these instruments, you end up with a paralysed opposition and a cosmetic democracy. Today, we start on this road.

Afrikaans:

Mnr die Speaker, natuurlik het elke land wetgewing wat staatsveiligheid en militêre geheime beskerm. Ons is nie daarteen nie, maar die VF Plus gaan teen hierdie wetgewing stem, omdat ons glo dat hierdie wetgewing baie verder as dit gaan. Ek wil ‘n belangrike beroep op die ANC doen om met ‘n belangrike saak soos hierdie sy parlementslede toe te laat om elkeen vrylik volgens sy gewete te stem. Hulle argumenteer dat die doel van die wetgewing nie is om korrupsie toe te smeer of die media te muilband nie. Ons is oortuig dat hierdie wetgewing wel presies dit gaan doen.

English:

Ms L JACOBUS: Hon Speaker…

Afrikaans:

Dr C P MULDER: Bring dan die nodige wysigings aan die wetgewing aan om dit te verseker of laat u lede toe om elkeen volgens…

English:

Ms L JACOBUS: There is just a point of order, Speaker. I don’t know whether I heard the member correctly. I speak Afrikaans too; he speaks Afrikaans.

Dr C P MULDER: Yes.

Ms L JACOBUS: I thought I heard him say “regular erections”. I am not sure whether that is what he meant. [Laughter.]

The SPEAKER: Order, hon members! Order! Hon member, please proceed. I don’t speak Afrikaans, but I heard you differently. Continue. [Interjections.] Order!

Afrikaans:

Dr C P MULDER: Mnr Speaker, hierdie saak is so ernstig dat ek nie op gemors standpunte soos daardie gaan reageer nie. Die agb lid moet haar oorfone insit. Dan sal sy beter hoor wat ek gesê het. Ek vra dat ons die nodige wysigings aanbring om dan te verseker dat die wetgewing dit doen, as u sê dit is die doel, of, as u nie bereid is om die wysigings aan te bring nie, laat dan u lede toe om vrylik te stem. Die VF Plus, soos ek gesê het, gaan teen die wetsontwerp stem.

English:

Mr Speaker, section 80 of the Constitution reads as follows – and I want to read it to you:

(1)  Members of the National Assembly may apply to the Constitutional Court for an order declaring that all or part of an Act of Parliament is unconstitutional.

(2)  An application –

(a)  must be supported by at least one third of the members…

Sir, the FF Plus now calls on all members of opposition parties in the House to sign such a petition. I thank you. [Applause.]

The SPEAKER: Hon member, before I give the floor to the next speaker, I would appeal to members to behave in accordance with the agreed decorum expected. This is a House for debate on national issues, and actions not within agreed practice will be referred to the appropriate structures of Parliament for a decision.

Afrikaans:

Mr J J MC GLUWA: Speaker, as ek vandag die geleentheid gehad het om vir drie minute stil te staan, het ek dit gedoen, maar die goeie nuus is dat ek nie vandag, môre of oormôre sal stilbly vir enige iemand nie. [Applause.]

English:

It will be a sad day for South Africans if this Bill should be passed. We acknowledge that good changes have been made in comparison to its original version. We are, however, convinced that many sections of the Bill may be unconstitutional.

Afrikaans:

Ons kan nie hierdie wet ondersteun nie. Ons sal nie hierdie wet ondersteun nie. Vir doodeenvoudige redes ondersteun ons glad nie hierdie wet nie. Hierdie wet weerhou nie net die media of die doodgewone mens op straat nie, maar ook ons as parlementslede om korrupsie, skandes en wanbestuur op alle vlakke van regering oop te vlek.

English:

We call on the President to not sign this Bill if and when it appears before him. [Interjections.] We also call on all ANC members to vote with their conscience today and plead with them not to support this Bill. This is a people’s Parliament, elected by the people. Why should we keep secrets from the people whilst the ANC promised transparency during the apartheid days?

The SPEAKER: Hon member, there is a point of order. Is there a point of order? It is not a point of anything. [Laughter.] Continue, hon member.

Mr J J MC GLUWA: If you, as ANC Members of Parliament, support this Bill, the day will come when you will regret your decision. [Interjections.] That day will be when you will be sitting this side of the House. [Applause.] Speaker, I have a toothache and, for the information of the hon Kubayi, this information is classified! I thank you. [Applause.]

Sepedi:

Mr L M MPHAHLELE: Mohl Spikara, re le ba mokgatlo wa PAC ya Azania, re kgahlanong le Molaokakanya wo o nyakago go tswalela batho ba naga ye molomo. Re le ba PAC, re lemogile gore Molaokakanya wo o lebile gore o khutiše bomenetša. Bomenetša mehla ye bo a tšwelela. Badiri ba bomenetša bo e ba bona babuši, batho bao ba rego ba kgethilwe ke setšhaba. Le ge eba seo ke nnete gore ba kgethilwe ke setšhaba, setšhaba se be se sa ba kgetha gore ba itirele seo ba se ratago. Re le PAC, re re ge re ka tšea tsela ye e šupiwago ke mmušo goba lekoko leo le bušago, ya gore re thekge Molaokakanywa wo, re tla ikhwetša re le repapoliki ya panana. Re le repapoliki ya panana gobane malobanyana mo mohl Mac Maharaj o ile a tswalela boraditaba molomo gobane ba nyaka go utolla bomenetša bja gagwe. Bjale re le PAC, re re se se swanetše gore se thibelwe ka maatla kamoka ao setšhaba se nago le wona.

English:

As the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania, and I know some of you say that Azania is a foreign country – yes, I may look like a foreign spy, but let me tell you, you don’t have to be a foreign spy to oppose this draconian piece of legislation. You don’t have to be a foreign spy to cede your freedom of expression to the dictators in the making. [Interjections.] The PAC opposes the Bill. Thank you. [Applause.]

Mr K J DIKOBO: Hon Speaker, hon Deputy President and hon members, there is a picture hanging in our constituency office. It is a picture of the former editor of the World, the late Percy Qoboza, being led to a police car by policeman in dark glasses, some of them in safari shots. We know that prior to that, Mr Qoboza had been called by James Kruger and later by Prime Minister John Forster, who reprimanded him for being the only editor to publish the open letter written by the Black People’s Convention.

In my 2011 New Year message, I reflected on the events of 2010 including debates around the Protection of Information Bill and the Media Tribunal. I warned them – that discussion and debates reminded me of what happened before the banning of 19 Black Consciousness Organisations and said to some of my comrades that another black Wednesday is coming.

The Bill is a threat to media freedom. The idea that journalists would have to check whether documents are classified or not before they publish them leaves a bad taste in my mouth and it will be like school children asking the teacher that they request to go to the “loo”.

If James Kruger is known for his “Because his death leaves me cold utterances” then the hon Minister Cwele will be known for having presided over the secrecy Bill. Many in this House have got scars because of the conscience decision they made to defy unjust laws. This will be one such law. Azapo will not support the secrecy Bill. Thank you. [Applause.]

Dr M G ORIANI-AMBROSINI: Mr Speaker, on this Bill, all of South Africa came together. For the first time in my experience a Bill was looked out, was understood in its fine details, and the people of South Africa came here to Parliament. In the public hearing, with the united voice, they clearly said what they wanted. They said it loud, and this Parliament is not delivering it. What happens when a Parliament acts differently from what the people want? That Parliament loses the legitimacy to represent the will of the people. On this occasion, there is a wide divorce between what the people want and what people are about to get.

We call on the President to refuse to assent to this Bill and send it back – failing which to call a national referendum. We call on the colleagues of the ANC to vote by their conscience. I do not believe, Minister, that everyone here has the same view of this Bill. It is not normal and not acceptable that on a Bill of this nature the division is by party lines. A vote against your conscience is a vote against the Republic. We all took an oath when we came into office and that oath is to uphold the Constitution which requires of us not only to protect human rights, but also to promote human rights.

David Maynier put it very beautifully when he said that on this occasion we are failing our constitutional obligation to move forward the frontiers of freedom. We are rolling back the frontiers of freedom against the will of the South African people. In that sense, we are moving backward where the opportunity was given to all of us to fix a Bill with simple provisions which are acceptable and internationally recognised and they would have no harm.

What emerges out of this terrible situation is the arrogance of power. It is dismissing the voice of the opposition. It is killing the message just because you don’t like the messenger. Forget the messengers and focus on the message. We are just expressing what is said from the balconies and outside Parliament. As much as one may dislike where the message comes from, it is our responsibility to hear the voice of the people. We have failed this test of democracy on this occasion.

We sincerely hope the President, who is the final guarantor of the Constitution and our freedom, will intervene, not to allow this Bill to be assented. We will support the petition to be sent to the Constitutional Assembly and we will oppose the Bill. Thank you very much. [Applause.]

IsiXhosa:

Mnu B H HOLOMISA: Somlomo, Mkhuluwa, namalungu ahloniphekileyo, ngelaa xesha kwakuzatyalazwa, xa sasifundiswa ngabantu abakhokele umzabalazo, bathi ukuba sixhasa iintshukumo zenkululeko silwela ukuba zekuthethwe ngokukhululekileyo emva kwenkululeko. Kodwa, masiyivume inyani ethi, lo Mthetho, njengokuba ufakiwe kulo nyaka, awufakwanga kuba kusithiwa ukhuseleko lwelizwe lubekwe emngciphekweni, koko kukho abantu abaphezulu abathe bakubona ukuba izinto zabo zivela emaphepheni bajika bafuna ukubalekela kwinto yokhuseleko.

Umzekelo, njengokuba sithetha nje, lihlazo into yokuba kuthi xa kuvela ukuba, ngexesha ebeseburhulumenteni, umntu wenze oku noku waza wafumana izimali ngendlela engeyiyo, ubani lowo abaleke ayekusebenzisa gwenxa izixhobo zelizwe, ayekuxakekisa amapolisa, njengoko sibonile kwi-Mail and Guardian.

Sasingawuxhaseli le nto umzabalazo. Ndingomnye wabantu abawulwelayo umzabalazo; andithethi nje kuba andiqengqelekanga okomxoxozi; sayixhasa le nto sithetha ngayo. Ngoko ke i-UDM ithi ayinakho, Mkhuluwa, kodwa ikunika ithuba lokuba ukhe uyise kumanqanaba aphezulu e-ANC, i-NWC ne-NEC, le nto, nikhe niyixoxe nijonge neembono zabantu phandl’ apha ukuba zithini na. Musani ukusiphindisela emva. Ngoko ke asinako ukuwuxhasa lo Mthetho oyilwayo. Enkosi. [Kwaqhwatywa.]

Mr L T LANDERS: Mr Speaker, hon Deputy President, it is our experience that most opponents of this Bill have not actually read the Bill. [Interjections.] Today’s events confirm that view. The ANC supports the Protection of State Information Bill because it repeals P W Botha’s 1982 Protection of Information Act. [Applause.] Those opposed to this Bill want P W Botha’s 1982 Act to remain in our statute books.

The ANC supports the Protection of State Information Bill because it will help bring closure to the family and relatives of people like the late Ahmed Timol who was murdered under mysterious and, as yet, undisclosed circumstances. Those who are opponents to this Bill don’t want those families and relatives to reach closure or for the truth surrounding their murders to be revealed.

Opponents of this Bill refer to the lack of a public interest defence in the Bill as reason for its rejection. These opponents

Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Mr Speaker, may I ask the hon member a question?

Mr L T LANDERS: No. These opponents fail to acknowledge the fact that the Bill contains the same public interest override found in the Promotion of Access to Information Act, Paia. Opponents of this Bill have also failed or refuse to acknowledge or even address the incalculable and irreparable harm that would accrue to the state and the people of South Africa if a court were to find that the disclosure of classified information by a purported whistle-blower was not done in the public interest, but rather for malicious and vindictive reasons.

We remain unconvinced by the reasons put forward for…

The SPEAKER: Hon member, there’s a point of order.

Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: The point of order is that the hon member attacks Mr P W Botha, but he was a Deputy Minister in his Cabinet. [Interjections.]

Mr L T LANDERS: Unlike the hon Koos van der Merwe, I did not try to kick down that door and end up breaking my foot. The ANC will be voting in favour of this Bill. Thank you.

Division demanded.

The SPEAKER: Hon members, a division having been called, the Bells will be rung for three minutes.

Division demanded.

The House divided:

YES – 229: Adams, P E; Ainslie, A R; Baloyi, M R; Bhengu, F; Bhengu, P; Bhengu, N R; Bikani, F C; Bogopane-Zulu, H I; Bonhomme, T; Booi, M S; Boshigo, D F; Botha, Y R; Burgess, C V; Carrim, Y l; Cele, M A; Chabane, O C; Chikunga, L S; Chiloane, T D; Chohan, F I; Coleman, E M; Cronin, J P; Cwele, S C; Dambuza, B N; Daniels, P N; Davies, R H; De Lange, J H; Diale, L N; Dikgacwi, M M; Dlakude, D E; Dlamini, B O; Dlamini-Zuma, N C; Dlodlo, A; Dlulane, B N; Dubazana, Z S; Dube, M C; Duma, N M; Dunjwa, M L; Ebrahim, E I; Fihla, N B; Frolick, C; Fubbs, J L; Gasebonwe, T M A; Gaum, A H; Gcwabaza, N E; Gelderblom, J P; Gigaba, K M N; Gina, N; Godongwana, E; Gololo, C L; Gona, M F; Goqwana, M B; Gumede, D M; Hajaig, F; Hanekom, D A; Holomisa, S P; Jacobus, L; Jeffery, J H; Joemat-Pettersson, T M; Johnson, M; Kekane, C D; Kenye, T E; Khoarai, L P; Kholwane, S E; Khumalo, F E; Koornhof, G W; Kota-Fredericks, Z A; Kubayi, M T; Landers, L T; Lekgetho, G; Line, H; Lishivha, T E; Luyenge, Z; Maake, J J; Mabedla, N R; Mabuza, M C; Madlala, N M; Madlopha, C Q; Mafolo, M V; Magagula, V V; Magama, H T; Magau, K R; Magubane, E; Magwanishe, G; Makasi, X C; Makhubela-Mashele, L S; Makhubele, Z S; Makwetla, S P; Malale, M l; Malgas, H H; Maluleka, H P; Maluleke, J M; Manamela, K B; Manana, M C; Mandela, Z M D; Manganye, J; Mangena, M S; Manuel, T A; Martins, B A D; Mashatile, P; Mashigo, R M; Mashishi, A C; Masilo, J M; Masutha, T M; Mathebe, P M; Mathebe, D H; Mathibela, N F; Matlanyane, H F; Matshoba, J M; Maunye, M M; Mavunda, D W; Maziya, M; Mbili, M E; Mdakane, M R; Mfeketo, N C; Mgabadeli, H C; Mjobo, L N; Mkhize, H B; Mkhulusi, N N P; Mlangeni, A; Mmusi, S G; Mnisi, N A; Mocumi, P A; Mohale, M C; Mohorosi, M; Mokoena, A D; Molebatsi, M A; Moloto, K A; Moni, C M; Morutoa, M R; Moss, L N; Motimele, M S; Motlanthe, K P; Motsepe, R M; Motshekga, M S; Motshekga, M A; Motsoaledi, P A; Mthethwa, E N; Mthethwa, E M; Mufamadi, T A; Mushwana, F F; Muthambi, A F; Nchabeleng, M E; Ndabeni, S T; Ndebele, J S; Ndlanzi, A Z; Nel, A C; Nelson, W J; Nene, N M; Newhoudt-Druchen, W S; Ngcengwane, N D; Ngcobo, B T; Ngcobo, E N N; Ngele, N J; Ngwenya, W; Ngwenya-Mabila, P C; Nhlengethwa, D G; Njikelana, S J; Nkoana-Mashabane, M E; Nkwinti, G E; November, N T; Ntuli, Z C; Ntuli, B M; Nxesi, T W; Nxumalo, M D; Nyalungu, R E; Nyanda, S; Nyekemba, E; Nzimande, B E; Oliphant, M N; Oliphant, G G; Padayachie, R L; Pandor, G N M; Peters, E D; Petersen-Maduna, P; Phaahia, M J; Phaliso, M N; Pilusa-Mosoane, M E; Pule, D D; Radebe, J T; Radebe, G S; Radebe, B A; Ramatlhodi, N A; Ramodibe, D M; Ramokgopa, G; Saal, G; Schneemann, G D; Segale-Diswai, M J; Selau, G J; September, C C; Sexwale, T M G; Sibanyoni, J B; Sibiya, D; Sisulu, L N; Sithole, S C N; Sizani, P S; Skosana, J J; Smith, V G; Snell, G T; Sogoni, E M; Sonto, M R; Sosibo, J E; Sotyu, M M; Suka, L; Sulliman, E M; Surty, M E; Thabethe, E; Thibedi, J D; Thobejane, S G; Thomson, B; Tinto, B; Tlake, M F; Tsebe, S R; Tseke, G K; Tsenoli, S L; Tshabalala, J; Tshwete, P; Tsotetsi, D R; Twala, N M; Van der Merwe, S C; van Rooyen, D D; Van Schalkwyk, M C J; van Wyk, A; Williams, A J; Williams-De Bruyn, S T; Xaba, P P; Ximbi, D L; Xingwana, L M; Yengeni, L E; Zulu, B Z.

NOES -107: Adams, L H; Alberts, A D; Balindlela, Z B N; Bhoola, R B; Bosman, L L; Cebekhulu, R N; Coetzee, T W; De Freitas, M S F; Diemu, B C; Dikobo, K J; Dreyer, A M; Du Toit, N D; Dudley, C; Duncan, P C; Farrow, S B; Figlan, A M; Gaehler, L B; Gcume, N P; George, D T; George, M E; Greyling, L W; Groenewald, P J; Harris, T D; Hill-Lewis, G G; Holomisa, B H; Hoosen, M H; James, W J; Kalyan, S V; Kganare, D A; Kganyago, N M; Kilian, J D; Kloppers-Lourens, J C; Kohler-Barnard, D; Koornhof, N J   J v R; Kopane, S P; Kotsi, C M P; Krumbock, G R; Lamoela, H; Lebenya-Ntanzi, S P; Lee, T D; Lekota, M G P; Lorimer, J R B; Lotriet, A; Lovemore, A T; Lucas, E J; Makhuba, H N; Marais, S J F; Marais, E J; Max, L; Maynier, D H; Mazibuko, L D; Mbhele, P D; McGluwa, J J; Mclntosh, G B D; Meshoe, K R J; Michael, N W A; Mncwango, M A; Mnguni, P B; Mnqasela, M; More, E; Morgan, G R; Motau, S C; Mphahlele, L M; Msimang, C T; Mubu, K S; Mulder, P W A; Mulder, C P; Ndlovu, V B; Ndude, H N; Njobe, M A A; Ntshiqela, P; Ollis, I M; Paulse, S; Pretorius, P J C; Rabie, P J; Ramatlakane, L; Robinson, D; Ross, D; Schafer, D A; Selfe, J; Shinn, M R; Singh, N; Sithole, K P; Smalle, J; Smiles, D C; Smith, P F; Smuts, M; Steenhuisen, J H; Steyn, A C; Steyn, A; Stubbe, D; Swart, S N; Swart, M; Swathe, M M; Trollip, R A P; Van Dalen, E; Van den Berg, N J; Van der Linde, J J; Van der Merwe, J H; Van der Westhuizen, A P; Van Dyk, S M; Van Schalkwyk, H C; Waters, M; Watson, A; Wenger, M; Zikalala, C N Z;

Zondi, K M.

ABSTAIN -2: Borman, G M; Ntapane, S Z.

Question agreed to.

Bill accordingly read a second time.

Mr A WATSON: Speaker, I wish… [Applause.] I request you to record the objection of the DA to the second reading. [Interjections.]

The SPEAKER: They have already voted. [Laughter.]

Mr A WATSON: Hon Speaker, on a point of order, is it correct for a Minister who is here, after being absent for so many months, to call a member of the House objectionable? [Laughter.]

The SPEAKER: I did, at the beginning, say we must hold this House in decorum and behave as Members of Parliament should. Hon member, who called you objectionable?

Mr A WATSON: The Minister, if he is honest, will know. [Laughter.]

The SPEAKER: Thank you very much, hon member, we shall proceed. The Minister who is honest will know.

Mr A WATSON: It is Minister Trevor Manuel.

The SPEAKER: That is unparliamentary, Minister Manuel.

The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION (Trevor Manuel): No, Chair, the hon Chief Whip of the Opposition does not know the Rules of the House. After a division has been called and we have voted an objection does not make sense, unless you are objectionable. He does not know the Rules. [Applause.]

Mr A WATSON: Hon Speaker, on a point of order, you have Ruled and a Minister has made a speech and not withdrawn. I ask you to call on him to withdraw.

The SPEAKER: Hon Minister you cannot refer to an hon member as objectionable.

The SPEAKER: Hon member, what point are you rising on?

Mr J H VAN DER MERWE: Hon Speaker, the point is that you did not ask the hon Manuel whether he said those words or not.

The SPEAKER: Shall we proceed hon members.

Mr A WATSON: Speaker, the Minister has not withdrawn.

The MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS: Hon Speaker, my understanding is that the Minister was referring to the ignorance of the Rules as objectionable.

The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION: Chair, you can read the transcript and listen to the tape, I did not – at that stage – isolate the individual and say: “You are objectionable.” That would be… [Interjection.]

The SPEAKER: I will listen to the tape and come back with the Ruling.

The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION: Thank you, Sir.

Source: Unrevised Transcript, Hansard, November 22 2011


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