The ‘Spy Bill’, or the General Intelligence Laws Amendment Bill as it is formally known, is now open for you to have your say before the deadline of January 31 2024, says Freedom of Religion South Africa (FOR SA).
In an alert released today FOR SA warns that the bill will allow religious organisations and their workers to be subjected to security competency tests by state intelligence agencies (I.e spies) with the risk of forced closure if they fail the test and are denied a security clearance certificate.
“Not only will this strip away any right to privacy, but it also opens the door for the government to interfere in religious matters. This is effectively a form of state regulation of religion,” says FOR SA.
It warns that government wants to push the bill through into law — possibly as early as March 2024.
You can have your say in two minutes by clicking on the following link: Click here to make a submission via DearSA
You can view more infomation on the bill at the following link: Want to know more about the Spy Bill?
FOR SA says the bill’s broad definition of “persons or institutions of national security interest”, will include any person or group seen as acting against section 198 of the Constitution. (Section 198 is about South Africans wanting equality, peace, and a better life.) These vague definitions make the scope of the bill so broad that just about anyone could be caught in its net.
FOR SA warns that if the bill becomes law it could be abused to conduct politically-motivated witch hunts, or to silence critics.
We need to push back in big numbers and put the brakes on legislation that will destroy our right to privacy and which can be used as a means of state regulation of religion, says FOR SA.
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