RealNews

South Africa’s anti-terror laws out of sync with democracy

The labyrinth of confusion regarding gay marriages so aptly depicted in a recent Zapiro cartoon could easily be recast to illustrate the convoluted entanglements likely to arise from the implementation of South Africa’s controversial anti-terror legislation. Dubbed in legal pc terms as the “Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Act”, the POCDATARA came into effect on May 20 after a lengthy period of drafts, followed by more drafts. So fundamentally flawed have these drafts been, that on the eve of parliament’s effort to promulgate it during Feb 2004, COSATU’s muscle flexing halted it. Now 15 months later, the ANC government has finally enacted what is described in the preamble of the act “to provide for measures to prevent and combat terrorist and related activities………….” And herein lies the rub. How does any reasonable person, including legal minds, interpret an “offence of terrorism” when the act fails to define it? Conversely, the attempt to define “terrorist activity” is laborious and extends in excess of 500 words. Full Story

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