South Africa's ANC backs down on media law

AP News
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Posted: Jun 24, 2011 12:58 PM
South Africa's ANC backs down on media law

South Africa's governing party is backing down on calls to impose stiff criminal penalties on whistle-blowers and taking other steps in response to fierce opposition to a proposed law on managing government information.

In a statement Friday, the African National Congress said it had given "very serious and careful consideration to many concerns expressed about certain provisions" of the bill.

South Africa's National Press Club welcomed what it called "major concessions to bring the proposed legislation in line with the constitution."

Critics say the bill now before a parliamentary committee is too broad to justify its aim of fighting spying and protecting sensitive information. It has so far stalled in parliament, with no date for a vote.