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Secrecy of National Key Points Act makes cover-ups easy - DA

Secrecy of National Key Points Act makes cover-ups easy - DA

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called for a revision of the National Key Points Act (NKPA) as it has become “hot-bed for corruption and secrecy.

Speaking at a media briefing in Parliament on Tuesday, party Chief Whip John Steenhuisen, said the controversial law, which was drawn up 35 years ago, was “designed to reinforce the safety of the Apartheid system” and that its later transferring to the Ministry of Police following the advent of democracy, rates as an “indictment” of the country’s struggle for freedom.

“Virtually every line of the NKPA - as it currently exists - was designed to ensure that the Apartheid state could continue to rule with an iron-fist, without transparency and accountability,” Steenhuisen said.

“When the Act was passed, it was done in response to what the government of the day viewed as sabotage or terrorism. It was used to wage war against our own people.”

He also added that the act makes it impossible to determine whether the law is being broken as the number of key points are not only kept away from public knowledge, but are also not published on a list identifying them as declared points of interest.

“The Minister is not ordered in the Act to declare the properties, so how on earth is one to know if one is breaking the law or not,” Steenhuisen said.

Referring to the controversy surrounding the upgrades at President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla home, DA Shadow Minister of Police Dianne Kohler Barnard, said the act had made it easy for offenders to hide their conduct without public knowledge.

“This is precisely what happened in the Nkandlagate scandal, where the Act was used to justify the burying of information relating to the exorbitant expenditure of public funds used to upgrade President Jacob Zuma’s private home at Nkandla,” she said.

“This simply cannot be allowed to happen again and legislative measures need to be taken to ensure that history does not repeat itself”.