Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance has launched an e-mobilisation
campaign to stop the Protection of State Information Bill in its
The DA had consistently argued for the inclusion of a
"public interest" defence clause to protect those who possessed or
published information in the public interest, DA leader Helen Zille told
media at Parliament on Tuesday.
"When the bill was rammed through [the National
Assembly] last month without this important clause, we said we would not
give up the fight," she said.
The DA's e-mobilisation campaign would reach out to its
extended network of millions of South Africans, and ask them to get
involved in pressurising government to withdraw the bill in its current
"[On Tuesday] we will be signing a generic letter to
the President that all South Africans can download from the DA's
website, sign, and email to the President's office.
"We will also be signing a petition that we will send
to the President if the bill passed through the National Council of
Provinces without the necessary amendments, asking him not to sign the
bill into law."
South Africans could also help by registering their concerns with the Presidential Hotline on 17737.
Another avenue was to organise impromptu protests by using social media, also known as a flash mob.
The DA had already staged seven flash mobs at events
around the country and knew of at least forty more flash mobs planned in
the coming months.
Zille called on all South Africans to support this
mobilisation campaign by signing the petition, sending the letter to the
President, and by calling his office.
The full details of how South Africans could get involved could be found at www.da.org.za/campaigns.htm
Apart from the mobilisation campaign, the DA would
continue to propose crucial amendments while the bill went through the
National Council of Provinces.
If the DA's amendments in the NCOP were rejected, and
the bill was sent to the President for assent, the party would petition
him to refer it back to the National Assembly.
Should all other avenues be exhausted, the DA would
invoke Section 80 of the Constitution for the first time in South
Section 80 allowed MPs to refer a bill directly to the
Constitutional Court should such an application be supported by at least
one third of the members of the National Assembly, and be made within
30 days of the President assenting to and signing the Act.
"In the end, a sustained increase in public pressure
may be what it takes to get the ANC to withdraw the bill in its current
form. We will play our part in mobilising the South African people
against the bill.
"We have not given up the fight," Zille said.