The Secrecy Bill, or the Protection of State Information Bill, has never left us. The M & G report here that the secrecy bill is imminent. The Direct Democracy Forum do not believe this bill in its present form is in the best interests of the country.
The DDF reluctantly acknowledge that states sometimes have a need to operate clandestinely and to keep secrets secret. The DDF would however require that the securocrats apply to the courts to declare particular events and documents secret and that the media in turn have a right to apply to higher courts to have the same rulings overturned.
It is a simple approach which places a high degree of dependence on the independence, integrity and good sense of the judiciary to guide the country, its citizens and the media, and indeed the bureaucracy, through the sometimes muddy waters of state secrets. But better that than the bureaucrats have carte blanche to declare some of their more questionable acts secret and thereby hide criminality behind the curtain of the state security system and the misapplication of judicial and criminal processes.
South Africa will find that any DDF administration will not be shy about putting its money where its mouth is. The Secrecy bill in its present form will not survive the first day of a DDF administration.