'Secret State of the Nation' Report

September 2014

The Right2Know Campaign has released its 2014 'Secret State of the Nation' report, a snapshot study of trends, patterns and challenges with secrecy in South Africa.

The report's key findings include several signs of abuse of secrecy and continued securitisation of some parts of the state:

• Increasing limitations on protest, with a sharp increase in attacks on protesters: there is a general upward trend in the number of protesters killed by police, and complaints of assault and attempted murder by police.
• Continued increase of the use of state-security policies such as the National Key Points and Strategic Installations with no public oversight.
• Lack of public oversight of surveillance capacity which remains vulnerable to abuse.
• Signs that secrecy and security-state capacity are being used to shield political actors from embarrassment and scrutiny, in particular the office of the Presidency and President Zuma himself.
At the same time we look at continued shortcomings in existing transparency mechanisms:
• Existing research shows that access to information mechanisms are failing: the most recent monitoring report of the PAIA Civil Society showed that only 16% of requests resulted in full release of information. This is the lowest success rate since monitoring began in 2009.
• There is too little proactive release of information.
• The transparency mechanisms of the private sector continue to be overlooked. In this report we examine case studies of transparency struggles involving the extractive industries.

It is worth noting that the report has been hampered by lack of access to information; many of the metrics of secrecy, which would help inform a public debate on these issues, remain secret.

The report is available for download at http://www.r2k.org.za/2014/09/09/r2k-secrecy-report-2014/

For comment, please contact:
Murray Hunter (R2K national spokesperson): 072 672 5468
Dale McKinley (R2K Gauteng): 072 429 4086
Phezu Mthethwa (R2K KZN): 082 715 7010
Vainola Makan (R2K Western Cape): 079 648 1725
Siviwe Mdoda (R2K national organiser): 082 368 5096



In the run-up to the 2014 elections, the Right2Know campaign will again mark "Freedom Week" – 27 April (Freedom Day), 1 May (Worker's Day) and 3 May (World Press Freedom Day) – in recognition of the struggles and victories that all citizens, workers and journalists have fought for and continue to fight for.

This year's Freedom Week Programme includes 23 events ranging from protests and public meetings to seminars and pamphleteering. Events address various aspects of the right to know from the true cost of secrecy,the right to protest and community demands for access to information, to media freedom and demands for access to affordable telecommunications.

Sunday 27 April (FREEDOM DAY)
EVENT: Blikkiesdorp Community Meeting: Secrecy & Service Delivery
VENUE: Blikkies Community hall, Blikkiesdorp, Cape Town
TIME: 9h30 – 13h30
CONTACT: Waleed Heyn, 073 144 3619

Monday 28 April
EVENT: Delft Community Meeting: Secrecy & Service Delivery
VENUE: Delft Library Hall, Delft, Cape Town
TIME: 13h00 – 17h00
CONTACT: Ashley Louw, 082 694 1101

EVENT: Public Meeting on Secrecy and Freedom of Expression
VENUE: UKZN Howard College Campus, Lecture room 1, Durban
TIME: 10h00 – 13h00
CONTACT: Joanne Adams, 083 498 1583

EVENT: Miners Shot Down Screening
VENUE: Khaya center, Zone 4, Dipkloof, Johannesburg
TIME: 10h00 – 12h00
CONTACT: Bongani Xeziwe, 071 043 2221

Tuesday 29 April
EVENT: The True Cost Of Secrecy in our lives (Public Meeting).
VENUE: Community House, Salt River, Cape Town
TIME: 18h00 – 19h30
CONTACT: Waleed Heyn, 073 144 3619

Wednesday 30 April
EVENT: Pamphleteering for the right to communicate
VENUE: Outside ICASA, cnr Strand & Adderly Streets, Cape Town
TIME: 12h00 – 14h00
CONTACT: John Haffner, 060 366 5880

EVENT: Africa Unite Screening: Miners Shot Down
VENUE: Europe, Langa, Cape Town
TIME: 10h00
CONTACT: Pupa Fumba, 060 369 9041

EVENT: Miners Shot Down
VENUE: Workers World, Orange Farm
TIME: 10h00
CONTACT: Contact Molefe Philane: 011 403 1877

Thursday 1 May (WORKERS DAY)
EVENT: Community May Day Rally
VENUE: TBC, Manenberg, Cape Town
TIME: 10h00 – 16h00
CONTACT: Roegshanda Pascoe, 083 769 1296

EVENT: Youth & Freedom (Public meeting)
VENUE: Firwood Road Library – Redill, Durban
TIME: 14h00
CONTACT: Asha Moodley, 0781624263

EVENT: Reflecting on 20 years of democracy (Public Meeting)
VENUE: TBC, Eshowe
TIME: 10h00
CONTACT: Mxolisi Nyuswa, 082 6724035

EVENT: Pamphleteering for the Right to Know
VENUE: Yellowwood Park, Durban
TIME: 10h00
CONTACT: Thabane Miya: 072 1510320

EVENT: Giving back to older activists
VENUE: Wentworth, Durban
TIME: 10h00
CONTACT: Kayla Norsworthy, 073 7269897

EVENT: Screening: Miners Shot Down
VENUE: Bambanani Hall – KwaNyuswa, Durban
TIME: 10h00
CONTACT: Thuli Hlela, 079 1029047

EVENT: Screening: Miners Shot Down
VENUE: Inanda, Durban
TIME: 10h00
CONTACT: Gcina Makoba, 079 6101401

EVENT: Screening: Miners Shot Down
VENUE: Constitution Hill, Johannesburg
TIME: 11h00
CONTACT: Benjy Francis 084 753 5381

EVENT: Screening: Miners Shot Down
VENUE: Casual Workers Advice Office, Germiston
TIME: 12h00
CONTACT: Carin Runciman 073 953 4396

EVENT: Screening: Miners Shot Down
VENUE: Bioscope Independent Cinema, Johannesburg
TIME: 19h30
CONTACT: Darryl Els, 084 414 9312

Friday 2 May
EVENT: World Press Freedom Day Protest Against Censorship
VENUE: Outside the SABC Corner of Henley and Artillery Road, Auckland Park, Jozi.
TIME: 11h00 – 13h00
CONTACT: Julie Reid 082 885 8969

EVENT: Silent Witness & Senzenina Procession
VENUE: outside Parliament c/o Wale & Adderley, Cape Town
TIME: 12h00 – 14h00
CONTACT: Ghalib Galant, 084 959 1912

EVENT: Media Freedom after 20 Years of Democracy,
VENUE: Journalism Department Stellenbosch University
TIME: 9h00 – 12h00
CONTACT: Mark Weinberg, 084993059

Saturday 3 May (PRESS FREEDOM DAY)
EVENT: Spotlight on Press Freedom
VENUE: TBC, Durban
TIME: 10h00
CONTACT: Nomvula Sikakane 073 5371777

EVENT: Screening: Miners Shot Down
VENUE: Nyanga Community Hall, Nyanga East
TIME: 11h00
CONTACT: Pupa Fumba, 060 369 9041

More info: http://www.r2k.org.za/2014/04/23/freedomweek2014/


UPDATE 21 May 2013

Zuma: Dont Sign the Secrecy Bill

At any moment Zuma could sign the Secrecy Bill into law -- one of the worst attacks on democracy and free speech since Apartheid. But we can force him to give the courts a final say, saving our free speech rights.

The President has the power to send controversial bills to the Constitutional Court before they are enacted to make sure they don't violate our most precious freedoms. But he's only going to delay the Secrecy Bill's corrupt protections for his own government if there's a massive nation-wide outcry.

Read the full article on avaaz.org

UPDATE 26 April 2013

On 25 April 2013, the day that civil society, religious groups and opposition parties had feared for three years came to pass. The controversial Protection of State Information Bill – dubbed the “Secrecy Bill” by opponents – passed easily after a vote in Parliament’s National Assembly. In an acrimonious plenary session beforehand, the ANC said the bill perfectly passed constitutional muster, while opposition politicians begged MPs to vote with their consciences and reject the bill.

Read the full article by Rebecca Davis

UPDATE 15 April 2013  By Murray Hunter: Right2Know Campaign

THE Right2Know Campaign wishes to address recent comments in Parliament that seek to suggest that the outstanding problems with the Secrecy Bill are all but fixed.

Despite some welcome amendments during the National Council of Provinces deliberations, the bill has fallen far short of calls for a just and constitutional law that fulfils the basic requirements of openness and transparency.

The bill would still criminalise ordinary citizens for possession of classified information — even information already in the public domain. In other words, any ordinary citizen accessing a leaked document in the public domain could face jail penalties of between five and 25 years. Read more.

The Black Sash has joined the 'Right to Know' campaign, endorsing a statement against the proposed Protection of Information Bill currently before Parliament. Over 190 civil society organisations and 400 prominent individuals have joined the campaign, including Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu; writer and painter Breyten Breytenbach; Nobel literature laureate Nadine Gordimer; writer Andre Brink and our own Black Sash Trustee Mary Burton.

The Bill aims to create a new framework of classification for state information. However, the Sash and other campaigners argue the Bill extends the veil of secrecy in a manner reminiscent of apartheid-era secrecy legislation.

For up-to-date information about the campaign, please go to: