Urgent interdict granted against SABC – HSF

Organisation says in a turn of events counsel of opposing respondents conceded to application

Press Statement: Urgent Interdict Granted Against the SABC

20 July 2016

The Helen Suzman Foundation (“HSF”) appeared today (Wednesday, 20 July 2016) before Murphy J, in the Gauteng Division of the High Court, Pretoria. The HSF sought urgent relief against the SABC, its Board of Directors, the Minister of Communications and Hlaudi Motsoeneng ("the opposing respondents").

The HSF asked that the Court grant an order interdicting the opposing respondents from continuing to censor the broadcasting and reporting of violent and other protests, as well as relief preventing the SABC from adopting or implementing any censorship policy which would be contrary to the mandate of the public broadcaster.

In an astonishing turn of events, Counsel for the opposing respondents, Adv Tokota SC, conceded to the HSF's application and the interdict was granted by the Court. The HSF considers this a major victory for media freedom, and the rights of citizens guaranteed under Section 16 of the Constitution. Editorial discretion must be exercised in accordance with the Constitution and the Broadcasting Act. 

The interdict remains in place pending the outcome of Part B of the HSF’s application, which entail review proceedings to have the editorial policy set aside. 

See the HSF’s Heads of Argument here

See the Court Order here

Issued by Francis Antonie on behalf of HSF, 20 July 2016