The Committee met to finalise the Protection of State Information Bill. The Chairperson reminded Members that on the previous day it had been agreed that the amendments proposed by the NCOP would be accepted and incorporated into the Bill, without revision. One minor technical amendment was noted to the C-list, which was accepted, and parties voted unanimously to adopt the C-list, subject to that.
The DA, ACDP and COPE recorded that whilst they accepted the amendments, they nonetheless wished to record their opposition to the Bill, on constitutional grounds.
The Committee then resolved to adopt the Bill. The Committee Report was also adopted, which included a paragraph noting the opposition of three parties. The matter was due to be debated in the House on 25 April.
Adoption of Minutes
The Chairperson tabled the Minutes of 13 March and 14 March and noted that two amendments had been suggested on the previous day: Ms M Mentor (ANC) and Mr D Kganare (COPE) had wished, respectively, to have their apologies recorded and the initial of the name corrected. Subject to this amendment, both sets of minutes were adopted.
Protection of State Information Bill: Finalisation
The Chairperson noted that on the previous day the Committee had agreed with the motion that the NCOP proposals to amend the Bill be accepted. The C-list was official tabled.
Ms M Smuts indicated a typographical error on page 6, where the word “foe” appeared instead of “for”, in subclause (a).
The Chairperson reminded Members that the State Law Advisers would be asked to effect any other technical amendments.
Subject to that, the C-list was accepted and adopted.
The Chairperson asked Members then to adopt the Bill.
Ms M Smuts (DA) said that the DA wished to record that it did not have objections to the NCOP amendments, which were supported and agreed that they had been properly incorporated into the Bill. However, her party still opposed the Bill, since it had some objections related to the constitutionality.
Mr S Swart (ACDP) and Mr D Kganare (COPE) asked that their parties’ objections to the Bill also be noted.
Members of the Committee, noting those objections, voted to adopt the Bill.
Adoption of Committee Report
The Chairperson noted that the date of the Report would be changed to 23 April.
Members unanimously adopted the Committee Report, noting that the objections of the opposition parties were included.
The Chairperson thanked all Members and said that the debate on the Bill would be held on Thursday 25 April. He wanted to thank all Members for participating in a long and at time arduous process, and also expressed appreciation to the staff of the Ministry and Department of State Security as well as the State Law Advisers.
The meeting was adjourned.
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