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Black Tuesday: South Africans mobilize against the government’s secrecy bill

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posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 04:20 AM
I find it strange that most South Africans are either taking to the streets today in protest, signing online petitions, inundating government offices with calls, emails and sms’s, or just protesting in spirit by wearing black. But I have found very little mentioned of this potentially population-unifying action on any of the international mainstream news media outlets.

The South African government has formulated a so-called “Information Bill”, which has (according to them) been created to keep secret government information out of the hands of so-called “spies”.

But this Information Bill will make it illegal for any journalist to report or expose corruption or crime within the South African government. Doing so could land them in jail for 25 years.

After all, reporters have been very busy focusing lots of attention on the antics of Jacob Zuma, Julius Malema and scores of other government employees – and this attention have been making them very uncomfortable indeed. I mean – how dare the South Africans question the illegal awarding of tenders, reckless spending of the people’s monies, bad policies and countless acts of fraud and corruption? It is just not done!!! (end sarcasm)

This “Secrecy Bill” will be brought in front of the National Assembly today for approval. But this is the real kicker:

The ANC has ordered all 264 of its Members of Parliament (MPs) to make sure that they are in the National Assembly at 14:00 on Tuesday to vote in favour of the protection of state information bill.

This as outrage mounted at government's intention to pass the controversial bill.

Several sources have told Beeld that the ANC MPs will have no choice but to vote in favour of the bill.

The votes will be "checked" afterwards and those who don't vote along party lines will be "in big trouble".

ANC MPs ordered to National Assembly

Truly frightening – is it not! Just another run-of-the-mill intimidation and scare tactic employed by the same institution that has been created to protect the rights of its citizens. Makes me sick it does!

But the good news is that South Africans are rallying! In a move known as “Black Tuesday” massive protesting action is taking place across the country. The people are uniting on one front! Today masses of different cultures, different voices and different skin-colours are standing side by side protesting against the mother-of-all-government-transgressions. Let change ripple through our country too! Let the winds of change bring some sense of much-needed solidarity to our little corner of the world.

Some further reading:

What the info bill will mean for reporting

Protests planned for 'Black Tuesday'

Info bill 'has constitutional implications'

posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 04:25 AM

Originally posted by shimmeringsilver73
The votes will be "checked" afterwards and those who don't vote along party lines will be "in big trouble".

And that is why, if I was dictator, I would outlaw political parties.
Politicians have for a long time stopped representing the voters, now they just represent the party. And if that means the voters get screwed over, then so be it. Party unity is the sacred cow.

DONT vote for a party. Ever!

posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 06:03 AM
This is a very important issue...

Concerns included:

* Harsh prison terms of up to 25 years, with no protection for whistle-blowers, except for the most minor offenses. Even those who harbor whistle-blowers may face prison sentences

* Anyone who comes into possession of a state secret faces up to 25 years in prison if they do not hand the information to the police or security services

*The bill would trump the Promotion of Access to Information Act – which promotes citizens’ right to know

* The bill seals off state security agencies from any kind of scrutiny or accountability to the public

* It has no public interest defense. - Political Bureau

Thankfully there are thousands protesting this bill all over South Africa and on Facebook!
Wish I was there with you guys!

posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 06:47 AM
reply to post by halfmanhalfamazing

Thanks for your post HMHA!

Those are very salient points that you have raised.

The decision is being made right now as I post. What are they going to do this time around? The pressure is mounting, most of the citizens are protesting in some form or the other, Madiba's office is against the move - as is SA business and the SA National Editors Forum etc. etc. etc. Will the government pass the bill and simply ignore all the opposition? Surely they realize that such a move has the potential to alienate their future (and formerly loyal) voters?

I am VERY surprised at how little international media coverage this very important event is receiving. I only found one article on The Guardian - nothing on CNN, BBC, Daily Telegraph etc. etc. etc... Is SA politics so unimportant in the grander scheme of things? Or have everybody simply given up on us?

posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 06:49 AM
This just in:

MP's vote in favour of bill

Probably with guns against their heads!

God have mercy on us!

posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 06:54 AM
These protesters are completely wasting their time. Do you really think that if such a bill needs to be introduced, that the government would listen to its people and defeat it? Theres only one course of action the South Africans can take now, and that is to completely overthrow their government.

posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 07:00 AM
reply to post by Firefly_

Hi Firefly

The bill has just been approved. Hope its appeal gets marched promptly to the constitutional court. I have to ask though - are we allowed to have this conversation now without getting into a pit-full of trouble???
Just asking. I am not sure exactly what the limitations and constraints are now from SA's freedom of speech perspective.

posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 08:59 AM
reply to post by shimmeringsilver73

Oh SA, my poor little country.
I no longer live in a democracy

This is horrid stuff, but it seems we the people have no say, clearly.

posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 09:11 AM
reply to post by ChloeAUTM

I feel ridiculously sad about this matter.

Somebody posted this comment on News24 earlier today. I think it is very apt.

"Here lies South Africa's Democracy. 10 May 1994 to 22 November 2011. Rest in Peace."

posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 10:02 AM
It truly is a sad day today, journalist face more jail time for telling the truth than rapist and murderers get in South Africa. I hope it gets overturned in the constitutional. And if it does then I think we seriously need to investigate all those who voted in favour of the secrecy bill as they obviously have something to hide.

posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 02:36 PM
reply to post by moonbeam13

I agree Moonbeam! The blatant disregard and absolute arrogance with which these MPs passed this vote borders on absolute insanity!!!

Let's hope that the DA can make good on their promise of contesting the bill, and that enough MP's can be rallied up (136 I think) to oppose the bill (if they are not swayed by intimidation tactics before then).

Because if we do not achieve this, our country is ready for the garbage bin. THIS IS THE GREATEST CONSPIRACY OF THEM ALL! Think about it - MP so-and-so gets arrested for drunken driving and subsequent manslaughter. The event gets swept under the rug, and is deemed "classified" by the government. Now - no journalist is allowed to do any investigative reporting on the matter or obtain information relating to said event, unless they want to find their butt down in the tjoekie for a really long time. And there is no measure for what exactly can be deemed "classified", because just about every transgression, government fail or criminal activity can be deemed "classified".

Aargghh! Sorry for the rant, but I am just boiling over and blowing steam outta my ears about this story now...

posted on Nov, 22 2011 @ 03:02 PM
reply to post by shimmeringsilver73

truly disgusting the blatant in your face corruption
perhaps all those protesters should show up outside before the vote

with a tire under one arm
and a couple of liters of petrol under the other

posted on Nov, 23 2011 @ 03:34 AM
reply to post by DerepentLEstranger

LOL! I think you are right. The protesters were waayyy too peaceful for those short attention spans of the MPs.

In fact - next time they should set fire to some busses and trains while they are at it... I mean - public transport - who needs it?

posted on Nov, 23 2011 @ 12:54 PM
reply to post by shimmeringsilver73

it is very apt indeed, sadly.
And it was really far too young to die

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