Bosasa Operations (Pty) Ltd v Adriaan Basson and M&G Media Limited

On 26 April 2012 Judge Tsoka delivered judgment in the matter of Bosasa Operations (Pty) Ltd v Adriaan Basson and M&G Media Limited, in which the Webber Wentzel media team successfully represented the Mail & Guardian.

Judge Tsoka held that the Mail & Guardian did not have to disclose the identities of its sources. Click here to read the case summary in our previous newsletter.

Bosasa sought leave to appeal from Judge Tsoka on 23 August 2012, which was refused. Bosasa then applied for leave to appeal from the Supreme Court of Appeal, which also denied leave to appeal on 19 November 2012. In a final bid to overturn the judgment, Bosasa lodged an application for leave to appeal at the Constitutional Court. This application was also dismissed on 13 January 2013.

The refusal of leave to appeal by both the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court indicates that neither of these courts was of the view that Bosasa had reasonable prospects of success on appeal. It also means that Judge Tsoka’s judgment stands.

This is an important victory for media freedom in our democracy as it facilitates the protection of citizens who perform a civic duty by acting as whistle-blowers in cases of alleged corruption involving the State.