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"Secrecy Bill" in spotlight at EC public hearings


Corruption in government was in the spotlight on Thursday during a public hearing on the Protection of State Information Bill.

The ad-hoc committee of the National Council of Provinces tasked with considering the Bill, held public hearings in Nelson Mandela Bay, Mthatha and Barkley East.

Members of the public who made submissions to the ad-hoc committee in Port Elizabeth called for a public interest clause to be included in the Bill, while others suggested the Bill would hide corruption in government.

Ad-Hoc Committee chairperson, Raseriti Tau, said the Bill will not undermine the right to access of information nor does it seek to hide corruption in government.

DA leader in the Bhisho legislature, Bobby Stevenson, says the public hearings are crucial for the future of democracy and freedom in this country.

"This bill hits at the heart of transparency and openness in government and the fact that there are really harsh penalties for the posession of so-called classified information is really going to limit media freedom in this country," he said.

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