Friday, May 29, 2015

Ruling on Parliaments signal jamming labelled as disappointing

Loyiso Langeni

29 May 2015

The South African National Editors Forum has expressed its disappointment at the judgement regarding Parliament’s broadcasting policy.

On Thursday the Western Cape High Court dismissed the case brought by several media houses about the interruption of the State of the Nation Address broadcast in February, where Economic Freedom Fighters MP’s were thrown out by police.

Sanef Chairperson Mpumelelo Mkhabela said we remain convinced that South Africans are entitled to know everything that is happening in their Parliament regardless of whether the politicians or those who are managing Parliament think it’s bad or not bad for the institutions.

“Parliament after all is a public forum it will be very sad if we were to allow the judgement to go unchallenged and reducing parliament to a place those who are in charge could decide what the public should see and what the public should not see. There is nothing in Parliament that should be hidden and that I think should be the principle of the dispensation that we live in.” Mkhabela added.

Meanwhile the Right 2 Know campaign said while the judgement is disappointing it is encouraged by a strong judgement from Judge Kate Savage.

R2K’s Murray Hunter said they are disappointed by the judgement because they believe that Parliament broadcasting policy allows for censorship and believe every South African has the right to know what is happening inside Parliament and any policy that undermines that right to know needs to be challenged.

However, Right 2 Know said it will appeal the ruling and it is confident of their chances.



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