Friday, August 31, 2007

SANEF accepts public interest defence in Sunday Times Case

By Ilhaam Hoosain
31 August 2007

South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) says it accepts Mr Justice Mahomed Jajbhay’s ruling, in the public interest defence against the Sunday Times at the Johannesburg High Court.

The judge has ordered that copies of the Minister’s medical records be returned to the Cape Town Medi-Clinic immediately and SANEF believes that this was to be expected.

“SANEF believes that the judgment contains an important ruling upholding press freedom.

“He made two important rulings, one is that public interest is an important factor, in the contact of the nation and that public figures such as ministers and public officials have to be subject to scrutiny by the media and that news about their conduct can be published,” says SANEF’s Media Freedom Sub-Committee Chairperson Raymond Louw.

The documents reflected on the alleged conduct of the Health Minister while she was in hospital and on her alleged drinking before and after undergoing a liver transport.

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