Cape Twon 271010 Alan Storey satnds in front of paliment protesting agains the Secrecy Bill. Close to 500 people marched to Parliment as part of the Right To Know Campaign to stop the Secrecy Bill. picture : neil baynes

The US-based The New York Times on Tuesday published an opinion piece about media freedom in South Africa, warning that the “health of democracy” was under threat.

In an op-ed article penned by Mail & Guardian editor Nic Dawes, political analyst Judith February and Aids activist Zackie Achmat, the Protection of State Information Bill comes under discussion.

“The health of one of the world's most celebrated democracies, which emerged after decades of struggle against apartheid, is under threat,” according to the article published on

“The threat goes well beyond journalism. It is ultimately about citizens’ right to know.”

It warns that unless the bill is revised to add a public interest clause, “it will do irreparable damage to South Africa’s democracy”.

The bill was last week approved by the National Assembly and is now before the National Council of Provinces. - Sapa