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Info Bill is 'full of toxic poisonous gruel'

Cape Town - Former Intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils has slammed the ANC over the alleged backtracking on the draft Info Bill.

Concessions made by the National Council of Province’s ad-hoc committee have allegedly been chucked out by State Security officials. He said the bill was full of deviousness and “full of toxic poisonous gruel”.

As eight policemen appear in court charged with the murder of taxi driver Mido Macia, former Intelligence Services Minister Ronnie Kasrils has called for President Jacob Zuma to dismiss the minister of police and the national police commissioner in the wake of the death. Photo: Thomas Holder. Credit: CAPE TIMES

Kasrils was speaking on Monday at a Right2Know (R2K) camp-out outside Parliament. The group will camp there for the week, 24 hours a day. The organisation on Friday accused the ANC of sending mixed messages about the bill.

“I haven’t given up on the ANC and its alliance with Cosatu, but I am worried and not happy… the alliance has lost its way,” Kasrils said.

He said the people had lost confidence in how the country was being governed.

“They [the government] must serve the interests of the people, not [their] own.

“The secrecy bill has shown it is to hide a growing number of things that embarrass [the government].”

Kasrils added that it was important to have a free press, investigative journalists and that the voices of the poor and marginalised in rural and urban areas were heard.

The R2K’s national co-ordinator, Mark Weinberg, said there should be no distance between those in power and ordinary people.

“The secrecy bill must be scrapped. They must go back to the drawing board - you [MPs] must give us a bill that protects our people,” Weinberg said.

In a statement, the ANC said it was regrettable that there was a perception it was reneging on its amendments. The bill was passed by the National Assembly in November 2011.

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