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Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (Act No. 2 of 2000)

Part 2 : Access to Records of Public Bodies

Chapter 4 : Grounds for Refusal of Access to Records

41. Defence, security and international relations of Republic

 

 

1) The information officer of a public body may refuse a request for access to a record of the body if its disclosure—
a) could reasonably be expected to cause prejudice to—
i) the defence of the Republic;
ii) the security of the Republic; or
iii) subject to subsection (3), the international relations of the Republic; or
b) would reveal information—
i) supplied in confidence by or on behalf of another state or an international organisation;
ii) supplied by or on behalf of the Republic to another state or an international organisation in terms of an arrangement or international agreement, contemplated in section 231 of the Constitution, with that state or organisation which requires the information to be held in confidence; or
iii) required to be held in confidence by an international agreement or customary international law contemplated in section 231 or 232, respectively, of the Constitution.

 

2) A record contemplated in subsection (1), without limiting the generality of that subsection, includes a record containing information—
a) relating to military tactics or strategy or military exercises or operations undertaken in preparation of hostilities or in connection with the detection, prevention, suppression or curtailment of subversive or hostile activities;
b) relating to the quantity, characteristics, capabilities, vulnerabilities or deployment of—
i) weapons or any other equipment used for the detection, prevention, suppression or curtailment of subversive or hostile activities; or
ii) anything being designed, developed, produced or considered for use as weapons or such other equipment;
c) relating to the characteristics, capabilities, vulnerabilities, performance, potential, deployment or functions of—
i) any military force, unit or personnel; or
ii) any body or person responsible for the detection, prevention, suppression or curtailment of subversive or hostile activities;
d) held for the purpose of intelligence relating to—
i) the defence of the Republic;
ii) the detection, prevention, suppression or curtailment of subversive or hostile activities; or
iii) another state or an international organisation used by or on behalf of the Republic in the process of deliberation and consultation in the conduct of international affairs;
e) on methods of, and scientific or technical equipment for, collecting, assessing or handling information referred to in paragraph (d);
f) on the identity of a confidential source and any other source of information referred to in paragraph (d);
g) on the positions adopted or to be adopted by the Republic, another state or an international organisation for the purpose of present or future international negotiations; or
h) that constitutes diplomatic correspondence exchanged with another state or an international organisation or official correspondence exchanged with diplomatic missions or consular posts of the Republic.

 

3) A record may not be refused in terms of subsection (1)(a)(iii) if it came into existence more than 20 years before the request.

 

4)
a) If a request for access to a record of a public body may be refused in terms of subsection (1), or could, if it existed, be so refused, and the disclosure of the existence or non-existence of the record would be likely to cause the harm contemplated in any provision of subsection (1), the information officer concerned may refuse to confirm or deny the existence or non-existence of the record.
b) If the information officer so refuses to confirm or deny the existence or non-existence of the record, the notice referred to in section 25(3) must—
i) state that fact;
ii) identify the provision of subsection (1) in terms of which access would have been refused if the record had existed;
iii) state adequate reasons for the refusal, as required by section 25(3), in so far as they can be given without causing the harm contemplated in subsection (1); and
iv) state that the requester may lodge an internal appeal or an application with a court, as the case may be, against the refusal as required by section 25(3).