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Media Centre | COSATU Press Statements
COSATU statement on the Protection of State Information Bill
3 December 2012
The Congress of South African Trade Unions has noted the passing of the Protection of State Information Bill by the National Council of Provinces.
COSATU has had an intensive engagement with the ANC Select Committee on this matter; we are studying the latest version of the Bill to see whether the concerns expressed by COSATU have been addressed, and will be referring it to lawyers for advice on whether to refer the legislation to the Constitutional Court if it is passed by the National Assembly and signed by the President.
Our initial reading is that whilst the Bill remains an improvement, some of our concerns have not been satisfactorily addressed.
The federation however condemns with contempt the opportunism of DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko, who urged that “Cosatu deployees must be lobbied, given their leadership’s vehement opposition to this legislation in public, which they haven’t translated into parliamentary opposition.”
She added that the DA would be lobbying civil society groups to encourage Cosatu to “put its money where its mouth is” and take a stand against the bill.
COSATU does not ‘deploy’ members to Parliament. The former COSATU leaders in parliament were elected as ANC candidates and are subject to the discipline of the ANC.
And the federation does not need “civil society groups to encourage us to take a stand”. COSATU has taken a principled stand to oppose all earlier versions of this bill in the interests of its members and the public, and will continue to oppose any version of the Bill which, amongst others, does not protect whistle-blowers who want to expose crime and corruption and which undermines the public’s constitution right to information in the Access to Public Information Act.
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