Citizens of South Africa have taken to the streets in protest of the new Protection of State Information Bill passed Tuesday, 22 November 2011.
The Protection of State Information Bill, which makes it illegal to possess or publish classified government documents regardless of whether or not they are incriminating of a greater evil, has had mixed responses throughout the nation. Supporters of the bill, which include government officials and pretty much no one else, are highly satisfied with the outcome of the vote.
Limpopo MP, Mr. Leo Nswako, had this to say: “Finally I can sleep easy tonight. The secrecy bill means I no longer have to be careful about who I appoint to office. Now all I am worried about is how to choose which nephew I like the most in time for Christmas – this will make a great present!”
South African citizens are not stupid, however.
Critics of the bill argue that – if made law – this will radically undermine investigative journalism and eventually put an end to all forms of whistleblowing.
Pretoria resident, Kobus Stein, comments: “They can take our right to information, but they will never take our whistles. How can we play rugby if there is no one to blow the whistle?”
Another citizen, Sipho Mthethwa of Soweto, is similarly concerned: “Does this mean Vuvuzelas are out too?”