MMA and SOS support the existence of the BCCSA and its system of self regulation emphatically and unequivocally. That is exactly why they have brought this application. They are concerned that the two impinged decisions of the BCCSA Appeal Tribunal threaten to undermine the system of self-regulation, and denude the Codes of their bite. Ultimately, the applicants’ concern is that if this approach were to continue into the future, the likely consequence would be further state regulation.
Media Monitoring Africa, represented by Power Singh Inc., has been admitted as an amicus curiae (friend of the court) in the confirmation proceedings before the Constitutional Court of South Africa in amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism NPC and Another v Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and Others CCT278/19 (State Surveillance Case).
The matter concerns the constitutionality of various provisions of the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication Related Information Act, 2002 (RICA), which authorises state surveillance. This creates a chilling effect on the right to privacy and associated human rights.
This matter concerns the careful balancing of the rights to free expression, dignity and equality in the context of hate speech legislation. In particular, this
Court is called upon to interpret the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 4 of 2000 (“the Equality Act”) in a manner that appropriately balances and best protects and promotes these rights. Media Monitoring Africa (“MMA”), an organisation which advocates for freedom of expression and supports the responsible free flow of information to the public
on matters of public interest, has been admitted as an amicus curiae in this matter. MMA participates in these proceedings in an effort to assist the court in interpreting section 1 0( 1) of the Equality Act in a constitutionally compliant manner. Mindful of its role as an amicus, MMA does not enter the fray on the application of the Equality Act to the facts of this particular case.
The first judgment penned by Mhlantla J and concurred in by Mogoeng CJ, Khampepe J, Ledwaba J, Madlanga J, Nicholls J and Theron J, held that the overarching purpose of section 154(3) of the CPA is child protection; protection from the potentially harmful effects of publication of their names and identities as a result of being implicated in criminal proceedings. Since this protection is only afforded to child accused and witnesses, there is a lacuna in the law as it pertains to protecting child victims in criminal proceedings. The first judgment held that the exclusion of child victims in section 154(3) limited the right to equality, as it constitutes an arbitrary differentiation that does not offer equal protection and benefit of the law. This lacuna also infringes the best interests of the child and their rights to privacy and dignity, which limitations were neither reasonable nor justifiable. It declared section 154(3) constitutionally invalid to the extent that it does not protect the identity of child victims in criminal proceedings. Accordingly, the declaration of invalidity was confirmed. Parliament was given 24 months to cure the defect. In the interim, a reading-in to section 154(3) was made.
The legal document detailing the reason for search at Jacques Pauw’s home, Cape Town on 28/02/2018.
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