This week, the Pretoria High Court handed down a momentous decision on South Africa’s surveillance laws that made international headlines. You can read the judgment here: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZAGPPHC/2019/384.html
Indeed, in response to a tweet by Privacy International about the judgment, the best known modern whistleblower in the world, Edward Snowden, tweeted, ‘Wow’.
The decision has – at least for now – outlawed bulk surveillance in South Africa, and also declared a number of provisions in South Africa’s legislation permitting surveillance – known as RICA – unconstitutional. Next step is the Constitutional Court.
I was lead attorney in the case for the applicants, the investigative journalists at amaBhungane, and Sam Sole, its co-managing director, who was placed under surveillance in 2008 simply for doing his job. Sam’s take on the case, an excellent read, is available here: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2019-09-18-analysis-inside-amabhunganes-landmark-ruling-on-surveillance/
Here’s my summary of the case below, which was published in Business Day this week here: https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/2019-09-17-landmark-rica-ruling-impresses-even-ultimate-whistle-blower-edward-snowden/