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Zuma mum on Info Bill

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Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma will not comment on issues surrounding the Protection of State Information Bill until he has formally received it, the presidency said on Friday.

“The legislature, the judiciary and the executive are the three arms of governance of South Africa and, when the president formally receives the bill that Parliament has passed, he will address issues relating to the enactment of the bill into law,” said presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj.

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600 President Jacob Zuma talks about the way forward after clinching the second term as the leader of the ANC and of the country on the last day of the 53rd congress in Mangaung, Bloemfontein. 201212. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

“Until then, it would be premature and disrespectful of the legislature for the president to comment on the bill.”

Parliament passed the contentious Protection of State Information Bill on Thursday, after three years of debate and redrafting.

It adopted the bill by 189 votes to 74, with one abstention.

All opposition parties continued to object to the bill, with some raising limited concerns and others rejecting it outright as a threat to democracy.

The version of the bill which was passed, differs considerably from the one the ANC drove through the legislature amid an outcry in 2011, before a raft of changes were introduced by the National Council of Provinces last year.

Opposition parties and civil organisations are expected to launch legal challenges to the introduction of the bill, once Zuma signs it into law. - Sapa

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