South African Assembly Passes Secrecy Bill

13 November 2013

The South African National Assembly Nov. 12 adopted a revised Protection of State Information Bill.

The controversial bill was passed on a vote of 225 to 88.

It will now go back to President Jacob Zuma for his signature. In September, Zuma referred the bill back to the assembly, citing two sections of the bill as unconstitutional.

“It was required to correct a cross-reference in section 42 and a punctuation error in section 45 that in effect rendered meaningless a hard-won safeguard on the state’s powers to classify information,” according to an article by the South Africa Press Association. SAPA said that 30 typographical and grammatical corrections were made.

Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said opposition parties would continue to fight the bill. (See her remarks.)

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