Despite positive changes to the Bill, crucial defects remain rendering it unconstitutional and incompatible with democratic best practice in our view. Some of these defects pertain to the Bill’s wide classificatory powers, limited public interest defence and severe penalties merely for possessing classified information. In sum, this Bill would vastly curtail journalism in the public interest by limiting the free flow of information and through its chilling effect on freedom of speech. The MGCIJ joins the call by Right2Know Campaign urging the President not to sign the Bill into law until the Bill's constitutionality has been reviewed by the Constitutional Court. MGCIJ will continue to work closely with the Right2Know Campaign and the South Africa National Editor's Forum (SANEF) to challenge the Bill should it become law.
MGCIJ has worked closely with the Right2Know Campaign since its founding and continues to serve on its leadership structures.
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The M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism (amaBhungane) produced this story. All views are ours. See www.amabhungane.co.za for our stories, activities and funding sources.
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