SCA dismisses appeal against M&G

2012-11-22 21:16
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Bloemfontein - The Supreme Court of Appeal has dismissed facility management company Bosasa's leave to appeal against a ruling that protects news sources.

Bosasa filed the application on 21 September and the SCA’s decision was made known on Monday.

The company wanted to appeal against High Court Judge Moroa Tsoka’s judgment in favour of the Mail&Guardian newspaper to protect its sources.

This relates to an article published in 2009 which described "the corrupt relationship between Bosasa and the department of correctional services".

The newspaper reported that the relationship resulted in the company winning a number of multimillion-rand tenders from the department.

Bosasa sued the M&G and its former investigative reporter Adriaan Basson for defamation and demanded versions of documentary evidence.

The high court held it was essential for the public good that journalists be able to do their work and that the identity of their sources should not be revealed.

"This essential and critical role of the media, which is more pronounced in our nascent democracy, founded on openness, where corruption has become cancerous, needs to be fostered rather than denuded," Tsoka said in his judgment.

M&G Editor-in-Chief Nic Dawes welcomed the SCA’s decision on the newspaper’s website.

"The appeal court's decision not to entertain an appeal from Bosasa lends further weight to the important precedent set out by Judge Tsoka," he said.

He said the courts had recognised journalists' need to protect the identity of confidential sources, which was crucial to media freedom, which was protected by the Constitution.

- SAPA
Read more on:    bosasa  |  nic dawes  |  media
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