“Dear friends across South Africa,
Sorry for the urgent note, but we literally only have hours now to stop the Secrecy Bill — the National Assembly is called to vote on it this afternoon.
We stopped it last time — after over 35,000 of us sent messages to the Chief Whips and thousands of us took to the street, they postponed the vote. Now, the unchanged bill is being pushed back to the floor after a sham public consultation this weekend that was only announced on Friday evening, and the ANC majority could force it through!
The same Chief Whips have the final word on the vote today — if we call on them and Deputy President Motlanthe, the one outspoken ANC MP, we could block this shockingly regressive bill.
We only have hours left! Call the Chief Whips’ and Motlanthe’s offices now to halt the vote and protect our democracy — it’ll only take 5 minutes. Let’s give them the public consultation that they have ignored:
Call Chief Whip Dr. Motshekga’s office: 021 403 3860
Call Deputy President Mr. Motlanthe’s office: 021 403 2353
The other Chief Whips:
Call Chief Whip Mr. Magwanishe’s offices:
Cape Town — 021 403 2211 // Constituency — 011 873 7753
Call Chief Whip Ms. Ntwanambi’s offices:
Cape Town — 021 403 2429 // Constituency — 021 785 4610
Call Chief Whip Mr. Davidson’s office: 083 302 2199
Suggestions for your call:
- Say that you want the ANC to halt the vote and throw out this draconian bill that puts a shroud over government and undermines South Africa’s hard won freedoms.
- Say that the public consultations were a sham with practically no one there and you expect the process to be revised and a real public consultation to take place as promised by the Chief Whips in September.
- Say you specifically object to a Secrecy Law that: gives up to 25 year jail sentences for anyone holding classified information; removes any protection for whistleblowers; has no public interest clause; and has no independent appeals mechanism.
- Say this vote could not come at a more worrying time, as more and more outrageous stories are coming out about government cronyism and corruption.
- Appeal to Deputy President Motlanthe to use his powers to halt the vote until a public interest defense clause is included as he announced earlier this month.
- Ask Chief Whip Davidson to bring the citizens messages to the floor of the debate.
- If you get a busy signal, don’t stop calling. That means we’re jamming their phone lines and the pressure on them is rising! Call now and help spread the word!
After calling, post a message about how the call went — to help Avaaz count the number of calls made, and demonstrate the wave of national protest to this bill being tabled — we will give the numbers to the media.
This is our last chance to stop the NA vote on this bill and standup against this fatal pillage of South Africa’s democracy.
With hope and determination,
Alice, David, Sam, Pascal, Ricken, Rewan and the whole Avaaz team
Secrecy Bill returns unchanged (Mail & Guardian)
S.Africa poised to pass heated state secrets law (Reuters)
S.Africa’s Gordimer warns on ‘apartheid’ secrecy bill (AFP)