Secrecy and security - two bills Zuma could still sign into law
Former top prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach‚ now MP and Democratic Alliance shadow minister of justice and constitutional development‚ is concerned that although President Jacob Zuma has been recalled by the ANC‚ he will leave a parting gift.
"There has been no indication as to if or when he will step down‚" she noted.
"In the meantime‚ there is the possibility of him signing several controversial Bills into law as a parting gift."
Breytenbach said Zuma currently has two “Red Bills” on his desk which the DA have long opposed:
- The Protection of State Information Bill (“Secrecy Bill”)‚ which criminalises possession or distribution of “classified” information‚ and centralises the power to classify information as confidential "with no meaningful oversight". She said it was originally passed by Parliament in 2013‚ and returned by the President for changes to be made‚ "but there has been nothing heard of it since";
- Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA Bill)‚ approved by Parliament in 2014‚ seeks to enforce local ownership of private security companies‚ "driving away meaningful foreign direct investment and effectively expropriating or coercing the sale of company shareholding".
The Secrecy Bill was sent to the President in late 2013‚ while the PSIRA Bill was sent to the President in March 2014 and neither of these Bills have been considered by the current Assembly‚ which was only elected in May 2014‚ said Breytenbach.
"There is a clear argument to be made that delays of up to five years would render any decision to introduce the legislation at this stage null and void.
"In the same vein‚ he should not commit South Africa to any potentially crippling international obligations‚ such as‚ but not limited to‚ the nuclear deal.
"We will keep a close eye on any movement regarding these matters. Should the President sign any of these dangerous and unconstitutional Bills before he vacates office‚ we will consider our options to take them on review."