CapeTalk Celebrating 20 years
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2011: Gaye Davis recalls South Africa's 'Black Tuesday'

This October, CapeTalk is celebrating its 20th birthday by reliving some of the most impactful stories of the past twenty years, as told by some of our favourite personalities. Click here to view the rest of the stories.

On 21 November 2011, journalists and editors across the country wore black to protest against the passing of the Info Bill.

Eyewitness News reporter and parliamentary correspondent Gaye Davis was among the media practitioners who gathered at parliament on the day the Protection of Information Bill was to be debated.

It was the culmination of a long war of words between the State, media organisations, academics...

Gaye Davis, EWN Reporter

The Bill, ostensibly an attempt to update outdated apartheid legislation, made it an offence to "possess or to publish classified information, even if in the public interest".

These offenses carried jail terms of up to 25 years.

The problem lay in the ambiguity of the Bill, which would allow for any government official to classify information.

The protection of information bill.

The Bill was viewed as a massive, massive threat to the freedom of the press.

Gaye Davis, EWN Reporter

It took one straight back to the dark days of apartheid.

Gaye Davis, EWN Reporter

The Bill - which is a "much improved bill on the first draft" - has yet to be signed in to law by President Jacob Zuma, but Davis says there is "enough ambiguity to it to remain a threat to our constitutional principles".

It's worth considering where we'd be if the Bill had been passed, she said, making mention of Nkandla, the Gupta emails, and the "looting" of State coffers.

Watch Gaye Davis reflect on the Info Bill below.


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