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South African lawmakers approve ‘secrecy bill’ to protect state

Level 3


1 Warmer
1. Who are Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu and Jacob Zuma? 2. What does ANC MP stand for? 3. What is the long walk to freedom?

2 Key words
Fill the gaps in the sentences using these key words from the text. Take note of their stressed syllable (in bold). Then find them in the article to read them in context. amendments condemnation classified outrage intervention whistleblower

apartheid controversial maliciousness

legislation transparency abstentions

1. A __________________________ subject, opinion or decision is one that people disagree about or do not approve of. 2. __________________________ are decisions not to vote in an election or meeting. 3. A __________________________ is someone who reports dishonest or illegal activities to the press or official organizations. 4. __________________________ is unkindness and showing a strong feeling of wanting to hurt someone. 5. __________________________ is another word for a law, or a set of laws. 6. __________________________ is the political system that existed in the past in South Africa, in which only white people had political rights and power. 7. __________________________ information is officially secret and allowed to be known by only a few people connected with the government or armed forces. 8. __________________________ is a situation in which someone becomes involved in a particular issue, problem, etc. in order to influence what happens. 9. __________________________ are changes made to a law or an agreement. 10. A __________________________ is a public statement in which someone criticizes someone or something severely. 11. __________________________ is an honest way of doing things that allows other people to know exactly what you are doing. 12. __________________________ is a strong feeling of anger and shock at something that you feel is wrong or unfair.

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2011 NEWS LESSONS / South African lawmakers approve ‘secrecy bill’ to protect state / Advanced


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South African lawmakers approve ‘secrecy bill’ to protect state ANC majority vote pushes controversial bill. 12 There was swift condemnation within South Africa and abroad. tell your grandchildren one day? I know you will tell them that you fought for freedom. 13 The Times of South Africa on Tuesday carried a black front page with the headline “Not in our name. 2 The African National Congress (ANC) majority ensured that 229 MPs voted in favour of the Protection of State Information Bill. has always remained © Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2011 10 “Please hear the warnings of the academics. legislation that critics argue is the first piece of law-making since the end of apartheid to dismantle a part of South African democracy.South African lawmakers approve ‘secrecy bill’ to protect state Level 3 Advanced loyal to the ANC. in New York.” 11 When the bill was passed.” 17 The group Media Monitoring Africa said it had noted the decision with deep regret and warned that it would be bad for South Africa and its international reputation. 2011 1 A controversial law to protect state secrets has been approved by South Africa’s parliament. with 107 votes against and two abstentions. 9 Tutu said: “It is insulting to all South Africans to be asked to accept legislation that could be used to outlaw whistleblowing and investigative journalism … and that makes the state answerable only to the state. and has almost never intervened since stepping down as the country’s president. labour representatives. 93. 15 Daniel Bekele.” and a statement signed by 15 national newspaper editors. civil society leaders. possess or publish information judged as classified by the government. Lindiwe Mazibuko. an ANC MP. added: “The manner in which the government pushed this bill through parliament. “This marks a low point in South Africa’s transition to democracy. and legal and constitutional experts. described the move as “a blow to freedom of expression and democratic accountability’. the members on that side of the house. 4 But rival MPs united against the “secrecy bill”. the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory issued an “expression of concern” about the bill and proposed four amendments. But will you also tell them you helped to destroy it?” 8 In a rare political intervention. This law will do our people and our country a disservice. the group’s Africa Director. It could face a challenge in the constitutional court. 3 Llewellyn Landers. 14 Human Rights Watch. 6 In a rousing speech from the floor on Tuesday. and a group representing Nelson Mandela. despite objections from Archbishop Desmond Tutu. 7 “What will you.” 16 The Helen Suzman Foundation expressed outrage at the vote. rights organizations. Mandela. Whistleblowers and journalists could face up to 25 years in jail if found guilty of such action. media corps. as well as the secrecy embedded in this legislation. to upper house David Smith in Johannesburg 22 November. said the bill would not have a public-interest defence clause because “it would do irrevocable harm to the state and the people of South Africa if a court should find that a whistleblower was found to have given information not out of public interest but out of maliciousness”. send very worrying signs about the government’s commitment to transparency. 18 The bill will now move to parliament’s upper house before going to the President. warned: “This bill will criminalize the freedom so many of our people fought for. Parliamentary Leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance. It represents a significant step backwards in the long walk to freedom to which so many South Africans have devoted their lives. © Guardian News & Media 2011 N T O FR BE C O DO O M W P W N IA EB LO B SI A L TE DE E D • First published in The Guardian. which could outlaw whistleblowers and dilute public interest rights. editors in the parliamentary public gallery walked out in protest. 5 The law would make it a crime to leak. to be signed into law. 22/11/11 CA •P H NEWS LESSONS / South African lawmakers approve ‘secrecy bill’ to protect state / Advanced O . Jacob Zuma.

4. democratic 9. 3. reputation b. public 8. j. court d. Human ____________________ Watch 4. ____________________ Monitoring Africa b. constitutional a. investigative 6. 1. the Nelson Mandela Centre of ____________________ 3. rousing 5.South African lawmakers approve ‘secrecy bill’ to protect state Level 3 Advanced 3 Find the information Answer these questions according to the information in the article. state 2. public 4. Find out more about one of them and give a three-minute presentation on the group or organization. 1. interest f. the Helen Suzman ____________________ 5. irrevocable 3. What does freedom mean to you? 6 Webquest a. Complete the names of the groups mentioned in the article. • How do you think the introduction of this new bill will affect South Africa’s international reputation? • The word freedom appears many times in the article. speech c. international 10. 5. harm i. gallery accountability 5 Discussion Use collocations from task 4 and key words from task 2 when giving your opinion and discussing the questions below. 1. secrets e. the African ____________________ Congress 2. © Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2011 NEWS LESSONS / South African lawmakers approve ‘secrecy bill’ to protect state / Advanced CA C O A O TO N T N O BE B E C FR F RO D CO O D O OP M O M W P W W N W IA N I A LO L EB E O B BS A BL SII A D LE D TE T E• ED E E D • ••P PH H . editors h. 2. newspaper 7. Which political party is in power in South Africa? What will the new law do? Why won’t the new law contain a public-interest defence clause? Which groups and organizations have condemned the bill? Why is Archbishop Desmond Tutu against the legislation? 4 Collocations Match the words on the left with the words on the right to make collocations from the article. journalism g.

f 6. a 10. Nelson Mandela (born 18 July. Mandela led his party in the negotiations that led to multi-racial democracy in 1994. 1942) is the President of South Africa. controversial abstentions whistleblower maliciousness legislation apartheid classified intervention 6 Webquest 1. Before his presidency. condemnation 11. 2. amendments 10. 5. Tutu received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. 4. Following his release from prison on 11 February. the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC). 1918) served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 and was the first South African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. protect state secrets by making it illegal for anyone to leak. elected by parliament following his party’s victory in the 2009 general election. b 5. c 2 Key words 1. 9. the Helen Suzman Foundation. 3. and so do irrevocable harm to the state 4. 1990. 2. 6. e/i 8. 1931) is a South African activist and retired Anglican bishop who rose to worldwide fame during the 1980s as an opponent of apartheid. e/i 4. Desmond Tutu (born 7 October. the ANC 2. j 9. 4. Jacob Zuma (born 12 April. h 3. Media Monitoring Africa 5. It is the title of Nelson Mandela’s autobiography. 7. g 7. He was the first black South African Archbishop of Cape Town. South Africa and primate (bishop) of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa (now the Anglican Church of Southern Africa). possess or publish classified information 3. Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist. outrage 3 Find the information 1. Zuma is the President of the African National Congress (ANC). 2. because some whistleblowers may reveal information with malicious intent. Human Rights Watch. the Democratic Alliance. because it could be used to outlaw whistleblowing and investigative journalism. 8. the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory. the governing political party. transparency 12. ANC MP = African National Congress Member of Parliament 3. and the leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe. spending many of these years on Robben Island. d 2. The Times of South Africa. 3. National Memory Rights Foundation Media O FR BE C O DO O M W P W N IA EB LO B SI A L TE DE E D • © Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2011 •P CA NEWS LESSONS / South African lawmakers approve ‘secrecy bill’ to protect state / Advanced H N O T . 5. Mandela served 27 years in prison.South African lawmakers approve ‘secrecy bill’ to protect state Level 3 KEY 1 Warmer Advanced 1. and make the state answerable only to the state 4 Collocations 1.