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Info Bill is 'full of toxic poisonous gruel'

Politics

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”.

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Cape Town - 121119 - Ronnie Kasrils makes a speech about Marikana. Right2Know protesters gathered outside parliament to once again make an appeal against the secrect bill and the marikana killings. PICTURE: THOMAS HOLDER

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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Cape Argus

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