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Info Bill returns to Assembly

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IOL dec 3  info bill protesters

Associated Press

A man shouts his objections during a protest against the Protection of State Information Bill outside Parliament. File photo: AP

Parliament, Cape Town - The Protection of State Information Bill will again come before the National Assembly after the House agreed on Tuesday to re-establish the ad hoc committee that dealt with the controversial legislation over the past few years.

The committee was dissolved after it completed its work on the bill on November 8, 2011. The bill then went to the National Council of Provinces for consideration.

The NCOP made a number of changes to the bill originally passed by the Assembly before approving it on November 29 last year. Thus, the bill and changes made by the NCOP now have to be approved by the Assembly.

ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga proposed a motion on Tuesday to re-establish the ad hoc committee on the bill with the same composition and powers as its predecessor.

A deadline of June 20 this year was set for the committee to report to the Assembly.

The NCOP changes to the bill include the re-insertion of a clause offering protection against prosecution for those who reveal classified information to expose a crime.

A clause that would have made the new legislation trump the Promotion of Access to Information Act was also scrapped, and the Public Protector and other chapter nine institutions were given the right to be in possession of classified information. - Sapa


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