ConCourt refuses to hear Van Breda media coverage matter

2017-04-13 16:33
Henri van Breda (File, Jaco Marais, Netwerk24)

Henri van Breda (File, Jaco Marais, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - The Constitutional Court has refused to hear Henri van Breda's leave to appeal the decision allowing Media24 permission to livestream the axe-murder accused's trial.

The ConCourt said on Thursday that it was not in the interest of justice to hear the appeal at this stage.

"The application for leave to appeal is dismissed," it said.

Last Thursday Western Cape High Court Judge Siraj Desai refused the State and Van Breda leave to appeal his decision.

Van Breda will now approach the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein.

Desai said it would be inconsistent with the times not to allow the livestreaming of the trial.

"It seems to me that in the modern era of rapidly increasing methods of mass communication, to decline this order would be inconsistent with the current, and certainly the future, reality," he said.

There was no evidence to support the State's claim of possible adverse effects of broadcasting the testimony of witnesses, Desai ruled, nor was it easily ascertainable how Van Breda's fair-trial rights would be compromised.

Three murder counts

"If there is any hint of that occurring, the order granted by me can be easily varied."

In March, Desai granted Media24 permission to film proceedings to be livestreamed following an urgent application.

Van Breda will go on trial on April 24, facing three counts of murder, one of attempted murder, and one of obstructing the course of justice.

His parents, Martin, 54, and Teresa, 55, and his brother Rudi, 22, were axed to death in their home on the luxury De Zalze golf estate in Stellenbosch in the early hours of Tuesday, January 27, 2015.

He handed himself to police in June and was granted bail of R100 000 on June 14.

His sister, Marli, 18, survived the attack, but sustained serious brain injuries and suffered amnesia.

Media24 is backing up its application to livestream the trial with section 16 of the Constitution, which guarantees certain rights to freedom of expression, freedom of the media, and the right to access to information.

* News24 is a wholly owned subsidiary of Media24.

Read more on:    media24  |  henri van breda  |  cape town  |  judiciary  |  crime

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