Icasa ordered to review porn channel licences

2014-11-03 12:48

Broadcast regulator Icasa was ordered today to review its decision to license three porn pay channels.

Handing down judgment in the Western Cape High Court, Judge Lee Bozalek said the decision taken last year by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa to grant three broadcast licences to On Digital Media (ODM) was reviewed and set aside.

“The matter is remitted back to the second respondent [Icasa] for reconsideration,” Bozalek said.

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

Icasa’s issuing the licences was challenged by the Justice Alliance of South Africa, Doctors for Life and Cause for Justice, who argued that Icasa erred in licensing the channels.

In his short judgment, Judge Bozalek also ordered Icasa and ODM to pay the applicants’ costs.

Speaking to Sapa, Justice Alliance lawyer John Smyth QC said he understood the judgment to mean that ODM would have to halt broadcasting pending whatever decision Icasa came to after reviewing the licences.

“As I understand it ... [they] must discontinue broadcasting forthwith,’ he said.

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