A special welcome to all visitors with us today, especially those who have been attending the 3rd Lausanne Conference on World Evangelization.
The freedom of a nation rests on a number of crucial foundation blocks. One such foundation block is the free flow of information. We remember that Government censorship was at the heart of Apartheid policy and one of the sweetest fruits of our young democracy had been the right to access information, and the freedom of expression enshrined in our constitution.
I believe the gains of our struggle for freedom are threatened by the Protection of Information Bill (the Secrecy Bill) currently before Parliament. This Bill is reminiscent of our Apartheid past. The Bill allows for any state agency, government department, even a parastatal and our local municipality to classify public information as secret—if they discern it is within the “national interest”. Anyone involved in the “unauthorised” handling and disclosure of classified information can be prosecuted, (whistleblowers and journalists) up to 25 years in prison. This will lead to self-censorship and have a chilling effect on free speech.
I invite you to join me and the Right2Know Campaign this coming Wednesday 27th October in a march to parliament. The march will start at 10am at Kaizergracht street. Jesus said: “The truth will set us free”.