The SA National Editors’ Forum is disappointed at the majority ruling of the Western Cape high court in the case between a number of media houses and institutions, including Sanef, and Parliament.
The case pertained to the nature of the broadcast feed that the National Assembly and the NCOP provide for broadcast during incidents of gross misbehavior by Members of Parliament in the two houses.
Sanef and the other organisations and media houses had argued that the rules that bar the provision of video and audio feed of gross disturbance amounted to censorship and was therefore unconstitutional.
In a full bench ruling by three judges, two ruled against the media organisations whilst one dissented and agreed with the media companies. Sanef is still convinced that the public would be better served by seeing all of what their representatives get up to in Parliament.
SANEF will study the judgment handed down this morning.
The fact that the bench was split on the issue shows that there is real possibility another court could arrive at a different conclusion. The main judgment does not in our opinion fully appreciate the grave danger of allowing parliament to impose rules that curtail freedom of the media.
Sanef Chairperson Mpumelelo Mkhabela