Diagrammatical summary of Judge Masipa’s ruling on photographs of witnesses

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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.

South Africa: Media Freedom, looking backward, looking forward

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This article appeared on Inforrm’s blog in January 2014.

Last year was a busy year for the media in South Africa. There have again been a number of court decisions that have given the media the breathing space it needs to function in our democracy. Continue reading

Tribute to Chief Justice Pius Langa

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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.

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ZAR 40 000 awarded for a defamatory Facebook post

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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.

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Media access to refugee board hearing

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On 14 May 2013 the Constitutional Court heard an appeal against a judgment handed down by the North Gauteng High Court. The High Court had rejected various media houses’ request to be granted access to an asylum application at the Refugee Appeal Board by Czech fugitive, Radovan Krejcir.

The High Court application was launched after reporters from the Mail & Guardian, Independent Newspapers and Media24 were denied access by the Refugee Appeal Board to its hearing of Krejcir’s appeal against the refusal of his application for asylum in South Africa.

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