The South African Freelancers Association (SAFREA) has reiterated its opposition to the Protection of State Information Bill.
“We stand vehemently against both the methods used in its implementation and the limitations it places on every South African citizen’s constitutional right to free expression. The rights of South Africans to free speech and an open democracy are clearly entrenched in our constitution. The implementation of this bill, in our opinion, impinges significantly on these rights,” it said in a statement.
SAFREA said there is “an evidentiary trend in South African politics and civic management that clearly indicates a growth in the levels of governmental and civic corruption. To place any restriction, in any form, on the reporting of these and any matters of public interest in a free and open democracy, would be tantamount to a reversal of the constitutional principles of personal freedom that were so hard fought and, we believed, hard won”.
The organisation said it joined the call from other representatives of the free media, and urges the members of the NA not to pass this bill in its current form. “SAFREA will be asking its members, journalists and members of the public to join the members of the National Press Club and others by supporting the National Black Tuesday campaign. By wearing a black T-shirt, we have an opportunity to publicly voice our concern regarding this apartheid-style restriction of our freedom”.