RAB to rule on Krejcir appeal

2013-09-27 13:56
Radovan Krejcir (Picture: AP)

Radovan Krejcir (Picture: AP)

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

Johannesburg - Media hopes of attending Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir's appeal for asylum rest with the Refugee Appeal Board (RAB), the Constitutional Court ruled on Friday.

The Mail & Guardian Media and others had asked the court to declare unconstitutional section 21(5) of the Refugees Act.

This section provides for a blanket ban on the public attending asylum applications or appeals.

The unanimous judgment handed down on Friday in effect gave the RAB the right to declare its proceedings open to the public.

The court held that the section preventing the RAB from determining whether proceedings could be open was invalid.

It gave Parliament two years to amend the legislation and issued a temporary order, which allowed the RAB the right to determine whether an asylum application or appeal could be opened to the public and the media.

It ruled that the discretion granted to the RAB would have to be determined by factors such as whether the asylum seeker agreed to public access and if it was in the public interest to allow such public access.

Media access

The court declined to make an order permitting the media access to Krejcir’s appeal hearing because its temporary order gave the RAB the discretion to relax the requirement of confidentiality.

Krejcir's application for asylum was refused in October 2008. He later appealed to the RAB.

The Mail & Guardian Media and others had asked the RAB to allow journalists to be present during the appeal hearing and to report on proceedings. The request was turned down.

The applicants launched a review application in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to have the RAB's decision set aside.

They also sought to interdict the RAB from continuing with the appeal and for section 21(5) to be declared unconstitutional.

They argued that it prevented members of the public and the media from attending and reporting on asylum applications or appeals.

The court held that the section was a limitation on the freedom of the press.

However, the blanket ban on access by the public was constitutionally justifiable. The application was dismissed.

The applicants argued in the Constitutional Court that the section was a limitation on the right to freedom of expression and that information concerning Krejcir was in the public domain and, therefore, not confidential.

Read more on:    mail & guardian  |  radovan krejcir

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.

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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

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


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.


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.