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Global South African News Wrap – 23 November 2012

Global South African News Wrap – 23 November 2012

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Published by: glosaf on Nov 23, 2012
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 20 November 2012
The Times
Page 4
Dennis Williams
The ruling party has lost its way – Kasrils 
Former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils has condemned the proposedsecrecy bill, saying it is "toxic" and "devious". Addressing Right2Know campaigners outside parliament yesterday, Kasrilssaid that, by considering the bill, the government showed it had lost its way. As a previously long-serving member of the ANC and the SA CommunistParty, he was very concerned."I haven't given up on the ANC and the party and the alliance with Cosatu, butI am not happy. I am very worried."Kasrils said the secrecy bill, if enacted in its current form, would hidecorruption and protect "swindlers" in positions of power."There are too many things going wrong in the country for us to be quiet.We've been associated with the ANC, we should not just pretend loyalty andgrit our teeth and sit on our hands. We actually have the right to say to thatgovernment of the ANC . that we are worried and we can see our peoplelosing confidence and trust in you," he said. Arguments that the bill still protected freedom of information and expressionwere nonsense, he said."Don't give us that type of hogwash because when you read the bill you beginto see how devious it is," Kasrils said.He had hoped that the concessions made to protect whistle-blowers and journalists in the earlier stages of deliberations by the ad-hoc committee onthe protection of State Information Bill would not be done away with as theyhad."We thought they had made progress . [but] it's looking like a dog's breakfastof toxic gruel that I said it was right from the beginning and the poisons arethere and the sharp bones are there that will choke us in the end," Kasrilssaid. After a presentation to the committee by State Security Minister SiyabongaCwele last month, the ANC withdrew its proposal to scrap a clause that gavethe bill the supreme power over all other laws.
The party also backtracked on its suggestion that there would be a minimumsentence for whistleblowers.The hearing, adjourned early last week because none of the political partiesopposed to the bill attended, is expected to reconvene tomorrow, ahead of thevote scheduled for November 29.Kasrils was speaking on the first day of a week-long, 24-hour "camp-out"organised by the Right2Know campaign.Its national coordinator, Mark Weinberg, said the public had the right to knowon what the government was spending public money."Where does the money go, why are the wages set the way they are, why aretaxes set the way they are, why are the taxes spent the way they are, why aredoes the profit leave the country the way it does?" said Weinberg.IFP MP Mario Oriani-Ambrosini was also present."I'm here to show my support I fought against this bill for two years and I willcontinue to fight when it comes to the National Assembly," he said.
20 November 2012
Business Day
Page 4
Ernest Mabuza
Prisons department to set up trading unit to boost training of inmates 
THE Department of Correctional Services plans to establish a trading entitythat would offer products and services ranging from furniture, clothing, steelworks, food and many others for sale.This would help inmates acquire the skills to make them productive membersof society upon their release from prison, Correctional Services Minister SbuNdebele said on Monday.The products would be sold to the private sector and nongovernmentalorganisations, and some would be donated to poor communities.Mr Ndebele was speaking on Monday at a conference in Boksburg aimed atfinding solutions to South Africa’s high rate of incarceration and breaking thecycle of crime.He said a number of proposals had been suggested to reduce overcrowdingin the country’s prisons. These included reducing the number of remanddetainees — those awaiting trial — and getting nonviolent sentencedoffenders to serve most of their sentence outside prison.

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