R2K protestors near ANC headquarters

FILE PICTURE: Luthuli House. Picture: Ziphozonke Lushaba.

The Right2Know Campaign held a protest on the street corner opposite the ANC’s Luthuli House headquarters in Johannesburg on Monday over a lack of protection for whistleblowers and the “secrecy bill”.

About 20 people gathered, with more than half wearing white skull Halloween masks and carrying posters as they formed a semicircle on the street corner. The group had planned to protest outside the ANC’s headquarters but Gauteng spokesman Dale McKinley said police informed them the building was declared a national key point.

This was because President Jacob Zuma was meeting there on Monday and they were not allowed to protest outside the building. “It’s ridiculous. It means they can declare anything a national key point when they want to. It just shows the latest abuse,” he said.

“We want to tell president Zuma to not sign the secrecy bill and to send it back to Parliament. If not we are going to take it to the Constitutional Court,” he said. McKinley said they wanted whistleblowers to be protected, were opposed to the Protection of State Information Bill, dubbed the secrecy bill, and against the misuse of national key point legislation.

The group was also against the General Intelligence Laws Amendment Act, known as the “spy bill”. “The spy bill gives state security intelligence the right to snoop on us and be unaccountable,” he said.

The group was chanting “down with the secrecy bill, down” and “away with the secrecy bill, away” and “down with Zuma, down” before protesters started singing resistance songs.

Some of the posters read: “We demand good governance”, “Secrecy Bill undermines democracy”, “president Zuma listen to the people! Stop the Secrecy Bill” and “Democracy grows best in the light”.

A few people took pictures from their cars while driving past.


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