This updates my statement this morning in relation to opposition parties being excluded from the official delegation which was to accompany the National Council of Provinces ad hoc committee when they hold public hearings in the province on Thursday on the Protection of State Information Bill.

Subsequent to my letter I was contacted by the Speaker who informed me that I would be contacted by the Chief Whip with regard to the inclusion of opposition members.

This has now occurred and I have been informed that members of the opposition will be part of the official delegation of the provincial legislature which joins that of the NCOP.

I will be joining the delegation tomorrow in the Nelson Mandela Metropole.

The fact remains that if the DA had not raised the issue, the opposition would have been excluded from these very important hearings. This once more highlights the value of having a vigorous opposition to safeguard democratic values.