Acsa, Primedia taken to court over posters

2012-09-23 19:21

Johannesburg - International NGO on Sunday announced that they were taking Acsa and Primedia to court for removing posters about lion hunting from OR Tambo International Airport.

"Ripping down these ads smacks of censorship and silences the voices of 700 000 people who care deeply about saving South Africa’s lions," Avaaz executive director, Ricken Patel, said in a statement.

"We are confident that the court will act to protect free expression and ensure this important debate about the future of South Africa's lions continues."

The posters, depicting President Jacob Zuma overseeing a lioness about to be executed with a handgun, were hung from the pillars of the airport's international arrival hall, in Kempton Park.

In August, the Airports Company SA (Acsa) told Primedia, who put the posters up on behalf of, to remove the posters.

The posters, which were digitally altered to have Zuma's face on it, read: "President Zuma can save her [the lioness's] life".

The posters were part of a campaign to prevent the canned hunting of lions, as well as the sale of their organs to the Far East.

In the statement, Avaaz said that the adverts were removed because Acsa was concerned that the inclusion of Zuma in the advertisements would cause a "public relations nightmare".

Avaaz's Sam Barratt said it appears that the decision was politically-motivated that goes against freedom of speech and expression.

More details regarding the legal procedures would be available in the week to come, Barratt added.

  • chris.maakal - 2012-09-23 19:47

    Acsa was concerned that the inclusion of Zuma in the advertisements would cause a "public relations nightmare" : Removing the posters is far bigger PR nightmare!

  • malcolm.stevens.129 - 2012-09-23 19:51

    Is this another sign of the ANC slowly tightening the noose on freedom of speech and expression?

  • gary.doyle.520 - 2012-09-23 19:53

    We have the right to see the bigger picture!!!

  • The-Azanian - 2012-09-23 20:00

    I truelly care about rhinos, elephant and lions...people please just leave your political agendas wherever they are from if you are really into saving these majestic animals.

      jjbox - 2012-09-27 09:37

      That you care is positive. That you believe that any care can be non political is naive. Care, for animals, human's.. has always been a political pawn in the power struggle that seems human obsession. This stated I believe that your comment is aimed at the quips in other comments regarding the featuring of political figures? If so yes, it is a shame that others feel a need to take possession through showing some personal connection which then misses the point entirely. I hope that I have not done likewise here :-)

  • phae.rayden - 2012-09-23 20:04

    Good on you Avaaz, its time people in this country were challenged by an organisation that holds enough power to challenge suppression of freedom of expression.

  • jmatebane - 2012-09-23 20:09

    Attention seekers, Advertising is a business they have to make way for other companies to advertise. If they want their voices heard why dont they advertise on tv or to the tourism board to communicate with foreigners traveling to SA about their cause....

      jjbox - 2012-09-27 10:11

      "Attention seekers" ? Why are you commenting? Are you not receiving enough attention? Here have some.. Advertising IS designed to seek attention. Well done! If you wish your voice to be heard, surely you would wish for others to hear it saying something positive and worthwhile? No? OK silence is a good sound.

  • neo.khemisi - 2012-09-23 20:18

    Ja ne,SA with its rules the next thing Mswati 3 he going to sue us for making hard for him to get a loan damn \bua lenna hampe ketla o sue to your last penny\

  • Notrax123 - 2012-09-23 20:41

    Now, now, if it was a WHITE Lioness, then ACSA would have a case. "ACSA decision was politically-motivated" It could have been misconstrued to mean WHITE FARMERS.

  • mthetheleli.ntshobololo.1 - 2012-09-23 20:56

    mfm, printmedia rubbish, who owns freedom of speech and expression??????? Don't you have any other way to make your campaign meaningful without mocking people??????? idiots!!!!

      jjbox - 2012-09-27 10:18

      you believe that the campaign is 'mocking people'. By "idiots!!!!" may I deduce that you refer to all of those people, people in general who are deserving of mockery. There is no question mark at the end of this sentence as it is not a question. People are deserving of mockery in general and whilst generalising are indeed idiots. If this were not the case we would 'all' use our abilities to communicate effectively for the good of 'all' and have a balanced, productive truly developing world which 'we' would share. Alas no, some believe that they are better than others and hell yes I mock :-)

  • lynda.pitcher.1 - 2012-09-23 21:13

    Well done Avaaz, hope the extra publicity works!!!

  • patrick.saunders123 - 2012-09-23 21:59

    zuma is already a pr nightmare. hardly anyone notices anymore.

  • johan.jaarsveld - 2012-09-23 22:06

    You can't just use someone's face on an ad without permission. It has nothing to do with politics or freedom of speech. If I was Zuma, I would sue both and Primedia.

      compos.mentis.58 - 2012-09-24 08:35

      Jeez Johan but you are not even short-sighted. Just plain stupid.

      marc.hugo.75 - 2012-09-24 10:38

      Wrong Johan, Unless it was libelous or slanderous, if you're a public persona, you'll have little or no recourse.

  • chris.potgieter.73 - 2012-09-24 08:16

    Here is a suggestion for a new poster. Depict a born free child's life ending at 20 because the ANC government has failed to deliver the promised better life. Let us warn tourists as they enter at our main ports that they are in a country that sees young men having to turn to crime and whose future prospects have been ruined by a government that is resorting to more and more violent solutions to the growing discontent amongst it's own supporters. Not only are the continuing apartheid mentality but they are also murdering their people by their lack of ability to deliver a better future.

      marc.hugo.75 - 2012-09-24 10:43

      Well, yes Dewdawn, not a bad idea. For a different poster. If one is seeking to promote, as it usually is here, obsessed as we are with increasing the numbers of mankind in South Africa willy-nilly...However, this is about lions. Their future affects our future and the future of the tourist value of SA. You might not have noticed, but throngs of tourists do not come to SA to look at our 20 year olds.

      jjbox - 2012-09-27 10:24

      I do not wish to echo Marc57 but yes this poster is not about the people of SA. The connection that Marc57 describes so well is so though I do not read your comment Dewdawn to be one requiring an increase of willy nilly created people. I believe that you are saying that the lions are a part of a bigger picture and that bigger picture deserves more publicity too.

  • marc.hugo.75 - 2012-09-24 08:27

    Go Ricken!! This is not your first experience of SA's oppressive, politically driven censorship. I know this is not AVAAZ's first experience of the grade A BS that passes for "democratic" process etc in SA. They can count on my support. BantongaBoro you fop. What more pressing issues? We celebrate Heritage Day today. What is more precious in the whole of this continent than its incredible 'natural heritage'. Upon which literally hundreds of thousands depoend for their livelihood and which earns huge amounts of forex. Yet do we hear the ruling junta talking about it today? They are'nt fit to run a tuck shop.

  • unforgetteble.cakes - 2012-09-24 13:16

    U use a politician's face on an Ad,nw u cry foul whn it's removal is politically motivated.come on money u use for ur court battles cn b used to pay 4 a damn good creative artist

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