In the past weeks, hundreds of thousands of people around the world have been able to hear and see on television, radio and the Internet the evidence being led in the criminal trial of Oscar Pistorius. Pistorius stands accused of murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s morning last year. He also faces three charges of offences under the Firearms Control Act 60 of 2000 for allegedly discharging a firearm in a public place (relating to the incidents at Tasha’s and the sunroof shooting) and the alleged possession of ammunition that he was, so the state argues, not properly licensed to possess. The case kicks off again next week Monday for the defence to lead its evidence (with Oscar widely expected to give evidence), after being postponed due to the illness of one of the assessors. Continue reading
Judge Thokozile Masipa, ruled that no photographs of state witnesses who object to being televised may be published – either until the end of their evidence (if they are public figures) or until the end of the trial (if they are private figures). See my summary of the ruling here.
This month we mourn the recent passing of Chief Justice Pius Langa.
Justice Langa succeeded Arthur Chaskalson as the Chief Justice of South Africa in 2005 and held the position until his retirement in 2009. His first job was in a shirt factory, but through hard work and tenacity Justice Langa rose to the pinnacle of the legal profession; attaining the rank of senior counsel and ultimately being appointed as one of South Africa’s first Constitutional Court judges.
In a judgment handed down on 4 September 2013, in Isparta v Richter and Another, the North Gauteng High Court provided some important guidance about defamatory material published on Facebook.
The plaintiff sued her ex-husband (the second defendant) and his new wife (the first defendant) for defamation on the basis of comments that were posted about her on the first defendant’s Facebook wall.