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South Africa’s Media Defamation Law in a Constitutional, Digital Age

Helene Eloff’s Master’s Degree Research titled: “South Africa’s Media Defamation Law in a Constitutional, Digital Age” deals with the digitisation of journalism and our legal responses.

She has dedicated this research to those South African journalists who fulfil their mandate legally and ethically. She hopes that the contents of her research will contribute towards the research pool in both journalism and law.

Her dissertation finds that South Africa’s media law is unfair in that it differentiates between media defendants and non-media defendants. “The effects of doing so cannot be justified in terms of Section 36 of the Constitution,” she argues.

This dissertation concludes that South Africa’s defamation law requires the extension of the reasonable publication defence and negligence requirement as a form of fault to all defendants. “This will render the South African defamation law capable of effectively balancing the rights to freedom of expression and human dignity,” Eloff concludes.

Read the dissertation here:

In her acknowledgements, she writes that the submission of this dissertation marks a career highlight. It would not have been possible without those from whom I draw inspiration.

I am inspired by my colleagues at Caxton and CTP Publishers and Printers Limited.

The company enables passionate journalists from all over South Africa to serve their communities by delivering news in print and digital format 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In so doing, Caxton empowers South Africans. An informed citizen is empowered in that he/she can participate effectively in his or her community, as well as in our democracy. This contributes positively to one’s sense of dignity.

Helene Eloff, LLB, Postgraduate Certificate in Legal Practice (UP)

Admitted Attorney, Reporter & Legal Advisor

Caxton Local Media

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