Hanno Labuschagne

Staff member
Sep 2, 2019
Big legal win for media freedom in South Africa
  • A Johannesburg High Court judge says a litigant approaching the urgent court should explain why they have not pursued faster remedies through the Press Council, particularly where they threatened to do so.
  • The case before the court was an urgent application brought by Lemane Sithole and Michael Maile against News24 and Netwerk 24 and some of its journalists, for an interim interdict prohibiting them from referring to them as members of the “Alex Mafia”.
  • The judge said that because the term “Alex Mafia” had been used by many other publications and had first been used about 16 years ago, that the matter was not urgent.
  • She also found that the application was “an abusive attempt by two politically-connected businessmen to gag a targeted newsroom”.
A Johannesburg High Court judge has urged those with grievances against the press to use “speedier remedies” available through the Press Council rather than making urgent court applications.