We Have Noted with Utmost Concern and Apprehension the Public Statements by Some Leaders of Civil Society and Political Parties "To Petition the Constitutional Court for an Order Declaring All or Part of the Protection of State Information Bill as Unconstitutional" or Even to "Seek Political Settlements on the Bill or Certain Aspects of It"
We have noted with utmost concern and apprehension the public statements by some leaders of civil society and political parties "to petition the Constitutional Court for an order declaring all or part of the Protection of State Information Bill as unconstitutional" or even to "seek political settlements on the Bill or certain aspects of it".
We want to put it on record that the Protection of State Information Bill is still within the parliamentary cycle and not yet promulgated into law, and any utterances in this regard are misleading and contemptuous of the procedure for the processing of legislation as outlined by the Constitution and our parliamentary processes.
The Protection of State Information Bill was transmitted and referred to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) as the upper house of Parliament for concurrence on Tuesday, November 22. As the NCOP, we immediately engaged on a thorough consultative process with all provincial leaders and the political parties in the NCOP to look at the most appropriate way of processing the Bill.
Almost two days later, the Hon Ms N D Ntwanambi, as the Chief Whip of the Council, moved a resolution establishing an ad-hoc committee to consider and report on the bill, which is scheduled for April 8 next year.
The resolution, which was adopted by the NCOP and supported by all provinces and political parties, also sets a clear deadline for the processing of the bill and accords the ad-hoc committee powers in terms of Rule 103 of the Rules of the Council, which, inter alia, accords the ad-hoc committee the powers to conduct public hearings, receive petitions, representations or submissions from interested persons and institutions. …