Corruption Watch alarmed at State hiding behind a non-binding security policyCorruption Watch finds it particularly disturbing that a non-binding security policy is being used to classify the report into the upgrade of President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla residence ‘top secret’ and therefore hiding its contents from the public.Executive director, David Lewis commented: “Given that this policy on classification is to be replaced by the Protection of State Information Bill, the cynical attempt to keep information of this sort secret reveals that true intentions of the Bill are to maintain secrecy over misconduct in the use of public funds rather than state security”.The lack of transparency in the Nkandla homestead upgrade and the stance of the departments of public works and state security in using secrecy provisions contained in a policy document to justify non-disclosure was unacceptable, Lewis added. Corruption Watch calls for the immediate disclosure of all aspects of the Department of Public Works (DPW) report that legitimately fall outside the security provisions that are contained in existing enforceable legislation.This call follows several requests already made for Minister Thulas Nxesi to explain why the entire DPW report into the upgrade was declared classified. Corruption Watch has specifically called for the release of the names of the contractors engaged to perform work on Nkandla.Lewis said the classification of the report as ‘Top Secret’ uses Minimum Information Security Standards (MISS), a policy which "in any event only allows classification of a document as ‘top secret’ where disclosure of the information would ‘neutralise the objectives of the state."“How will disclosure of the contractors’ names, for example, have the potential to ‘neutralise the objectives of the state?"Hiding this information is totally unacceptable and we will continue to challenge this decision, added Lewis.Click here for PDF versionFor further information:David Lewis 082 567 3748Attachment25June2013NkandlaupgradepressreleaseFINAL.pdfExcerptCorruption Watch finds it particularly disturbing that a non-binding security policy is being used to classify the report into the upgrade of President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla residence ‘top secret’ and therefore hiding its contents from the public.