Justice Langa’s work following as chair of the Press Freedom Commission, which strengthened the ethical oversight regime for print media while defending its independence was an important contribution to both media freedom and excellence.
It has resulted in fundamental reforms to the press complaints system and the Press Council which will make them more durable, more credible, and more responsive.
What is more, during his tenure on the constitutional court, the jurisprudence that underpins South Africa’s robust protections for freedom of speech and of the media, as well as freedom of information, was greatly deepened.
Justice Langa helped to articulate the crucial role of a free media in sustaining other constitutional rights and democratic values, and to cement a legal framework that will secure it in years to come.
We celebrate that remarkable legacy even as we mourn his passing.
Issued by the SA National Editors’ Forum (SANEF)
24 July 2013