National co-ordinator: right2Know

Murray Hunter

Murray Hunter was cagey about being profiled. It wasn’t because he was being difficult but because he’s not interested in personal glory. Emblematic of a new-age consciousness, he’s an intellectual seeking fulfillment rather than fortune, the victory of what he’s fighting for more than fame. As national co-ordinator of the Right2Know (R2K) campaign, the most vociferous opponent of the “Secrecy Bill”, Hunter is standing up and holding the government accountable for what is constitutionally already ours: the right to know.

When the Protection of State Information Bill was mooted in 2010, Hunter, with a background and degree in media and a master’s in anthropology, perceived it as an opportunity for civil society to react in new ways. Launched as a broad-based response to the draconian clauses of the Secrecy Bill, one that weighs “national security” against transparency and freedom of expression, R2K is a coalition of 400 civil organisations and 16 000-plus supporters demanding the democratisation of information.

In a country previously scarred by securocrat rule, R2K is fighting not only for the amendment or abolition of a regressive Bill, but also using the campaign as an opportunity to access a new level of democracy: one not shrouded in secrets.

As the face of the campaign, the one who ensures the right people are around the table, Hunter feels R2K won “from the minute ‘secrecy’ became a dirty word”. He believes R2K’s key success has been in uniting organisations and fostering different ideas about citizenship and fighting for our rights. Although he admits there’s much more to be done, in characteristic tongue-in-cheek Hunter style, the person he’d most like to thank is Minister of State Security Siyabonga Cwele — for the gift of a terrible Bill that creates a terrific opportunity to turn the status quo upside down.

— Lu Larche

Twitter: @muzhunter