The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) welcomes the news that President Cyril Ramaphosa has taken steps to have the controversial and draconian ‘’Secrecy’Bill” reviewed and aligned with the Constitution.
SANEF ‘s key concern throughout has been the lack of a public interest defence – and this review will now allow for this provision to be introduced.
The Protection of State Information Bill has remained unsigned for seven years after it was passed by Parliament following numerous submissions and acrimonious debate. The Bill sought to replace the notorious, Public Information Act of 1982.
Throughout the years SANEF has joined forces with a number of media freedom groups and activists to raise awareness about the unconstitutional nature of many parts of the Bill. Further, we have made a number of submissions to Parliament. One of the most draconian aspects of the present Bill, for instance, includes a 15 to 25-year jail term for any journalist found to have ‘’classified” documents in their possession.
SANEF welcomes this opportunity to ensure that all aspects of the Bill that are unconstitutional, or too broadly defined, are redrafted – and we would be happy to give further input to finalise it.
Note to Editors: The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) is a non-profit organisation whose members are editors, senior journalists and journalism trainers from all areas of the South African media. We are committed to championing South Africa’s hard-won freedom of expression and promoting quality, ethics and diversity in the South African media. We promote excellence in journalism through fighting for media freedom, writing policy submissions, research and education and training programmes. SANEF is not a union.
For more information please contact:
Mahlatse Mahlase – SANEF Chairperson, (083) 399-2852
Katy Katopodis – SANEF Deputy Chairperson, (082) 805-7022
Moipone Malefane – SANEF Secretary-General (082) 772-5861
Mary Papayya – SANEF Media Freedom Chair (082) 379-4957
Sbu Ngalwa – SANEF Eastern Cape Convenor (073) 404-1415
Janet Heard – SANEF Western Cape Convenor (078) 041-9528
Hopewell Radebe – SANEF Gauteng Regional Convenor (083) 582-1734
Judy Sandison – SANEF KZN Convenor (082) 571-3334
Kate Skinner – SANEF Executive Director – (082) 926-6404