Identifying suspects: Cliff Richard v the BBC, and SA law

Molebogeng Kekana and I recently wrote a piece for Daily Maverick on the famous UK privacy case where Cliff Richard successfully sued the BBC for privacy. You can read the case (if you have lots of time on your hands) here.

In our article, we also address the position in South African law – and in particular that it is in general a myth to say that the media cannot identify a suspect before he or she appears in court.  By and large, this only applies to cases involving (i) children accused, and (ii) other accused where the crimes of extortion or sexual offences are concerned.  In the former case, there is a general rule that the child cannot be named without the court’s permission.  In the latter scenario, the identity of the accused can be revealed only when he or she has pleaded to the charge (though I maintain that this is probably unconstitutional).

We also mention the fact that the publishers of the book The Lost Boys of Bird Island decided not to the name the third National Party official implicated in the allegations in the book.

Read our article here.

 

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