Porn channel appeal dismissed

The Supreme Court of Appeal has dismissed a petition by On Digital Media (ODM) for leave to appeal a Western Cape High Court judgment that Icasa re-consider its decision to licence ODM’s porn channels.

The court dismissed the petition on March 17, as there was no reasonable prospect of success, SCA registrar Paul Myburgh said on Thursday.

Justice Alliance SA (Jasa), supported by Doctors for Life and Cause for Justice, opposed ODM’s petition, and were pleased with the court’s ruling.

“The effect of the SCA order is that ODM are wilfully and flagrantly breaking the law if they continue to broadcast,” Jasa said in a statement.

On December 10 last year, the Western Cape High Court upheld an order to remit a decision on the licensing of the three porn pay channels back to the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa).

At the time, Judge Lee Bozalek said he was correct in ruling that Icasa re-consider its decision to licence ODM’s porn pay channels, rather than apply the discretion himself.

ODM (operating as Top TV and later StarSat) was granted three licences on April 23, 2013, to broadcast Playboy TV, Desire TV, and Brazzers, subject to conditions.

In November last year, Bozalek reviewed Icasa’s licensing decision and set it aside after consolidated applications by Jasa, Doctors for Life, and Cause for Justice.

The organisations had argued that Icasa erred in making its decision.

ODM applied for leave to appeal the ruling, which was dismissed on December 10.

Bozalek said Icasa was free to take these observations into account or not.

“It hardly needs to be said that the courts are generally averse to acting as legal advisors and furnishing legal advice to parties on how to conduct their statutory affairs.”

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Porn channel appeal dismissed