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Section 32: Access to Information

If they need it to protect any of their rights, everyone has the right to have access to information which the government has, and/or information that someone else has.


In the past accused people were not allowed to have access to the police dockets that included witnesses’ statements, reports of the investigation, and other information about their cases, unless the state agreed to give it to them. The Constitutional Court has said an accused person has the right to have access to the docket, because section 32 gives people the right of access to information they need to protect or exercise their rights.

The Promotion of Access to Information Act gives people a right of access to all kinds of government information, providing very limited reasons why officials can refuse to give such information. This Act is a good weapon against corruption and makes the government transparent and accountable.

The Protection of Disclosures Act gives protection to ‘whistle-blowers’ – people who speak out against corruption, dishonesty or bad administration and who believe at the time that what they are saying is the truth. They are protected from internal disciplinary action, intimidation and harassment if they have ‘blown the whistle’ on someone or a business.