Media24 makes legal move on signal jamming in Parliament

2015-02-12 19:00

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – Moments before President Jacob Zuma made his State of the Nation address, Media24 took legal action to stop cellphone jamming in the chamber on Thursday.

Willem de Klerk acting for Media24 issued a written notice to the Parliamentary spokesperson Luzoko Jacobs minutes before the president stepped on to the podium.

In it he said: “I confirm that we act for Media 24 and various of its publications including News24; Netwerk24; City Press; Beeld and Rapport.

“Our clients inform us that the cellular signal in parliament has been blocked. Our clients inform us that their reporters present and covering President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation address in parliament this evening, scheduled to commence at 19:00, are consequently unable to send and receive information through the network during the President’s address.

“During my discussion with Mr Jacobs he was not willing to discuss the matter and referred me to the head of legal services. Ms Adhikarie advised that she was not aware of any such block on the network, but undertook to make enquiries and revert to me urgently. She called me back a few minutes later, advising that the head of ICT is not aware of any such block. She also advised that a person was sent into the chamber and reported back that the signal appears to be working.

“I urged Ms Adhikarie to urgently communicate with the press present in parliament since our instructions are that there indeed is a problem with the network.

“Please note that should the cellular signal indeed be blocked, and should this be as a result of a deliberate act, we are instructed to demand, as we hereby do, that the signal immediately be restored. Our clients contend that any such block will be unlawful and a fundamental invasion of the media’s right to freedom of expression and the duty to keep the nation informed of Parliamentary proceedings. We note that the South African Editor’s Forum (SANEF) has already issued a statement in this regard.”

Sanef executive Director Mathatha Tsedu stated that “This disrupts the functioning of the media particularly as journalists are filing using cellphone signal for digital platforms, sending pictures back to their main offices and updating Facebook and Twitter accounts for various publications.”

DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen opened proceedings of the State of the Nation when he asked the Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete for the cellphone signal jammers be switched off and members of the media be able to do their job.

As he sat down other MPs followed his call and urged Mbete to follow up the matter.

Read more on:    media24  |  cape town  |  politics  |  parliament 2015

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

TUT extends recess

18 minutes ago

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
59 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.