PTA High Court dismisses urgent appeal to stop screening of Inxeba

2018-03-09 16:01
Inxeba poster (Supplied)

Inxeba poster (Supplied)

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Johannesburg – The High Court in Pretoria dismissed an urgent late-night court appeal on Thursday by the National House of Traditional Leaders to interdict the return of the controversial film Inxeba (The Wound) to cinemas on Friday.

The application was dismissed with costs.  

The decision comes after senior Judge Neil Tuchten ruled in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday that pending a review application on March 28, the film could be screened again from March 9.

The film can now be screened under an 18SNL age restriction.

ALSO READ: Inxeba (The Wound) can return to big screens on Friday – court rules

In Tuesday's ruling the High Court also ruled that the X rating be removed from the 18 classification with immediate effect, while it awaits affidavits of representation from all affected parties, both pro and opposed to the decision of the Film and Publication Board's Appeal Tribunal.

During the appeal on Thursday night, Tuchten said the public had a right to see a work of this nature.

Application an attempt 'restraint on speech'

"They (the filmmakers) have a right to have persons examine and appreciate or feel otherwise about the product of their artistic endeavours.

"The public has a right in general to see a publication of this nature, particularly one which has received acclaim. Each member of the public has a right to examine this film and consider whether or not he or she agrees with the views that have been expressed," Tuchten ruled.

Dario Milo from Webber Wentzel attorneys, who represented the film's producers, said they were pleased with their second victory.

"In our view this application was an attempt at a prior restraint on speech, dressed up as a complaint that the applicant had not been joined in the application to set aside the Appeal Tribunal's decision," Milo said.

Milo said the law was against prior restraints on speech, and all the more so in this case where the urgent court had already ordered that the film could be screened from Friday.

Call for peaceful disagreement

"All opposing parties (and the House of Traditional Leaders) have at various instances raised the possibility of violence that may emerge as a result of the existence of the film," he added.

Producer Cait Pansegrouw said they had asked repeatedly that the opposing parties call for an end to violence on the basis of their authority "so that the matter can be handled with appropriate legal fora in keeping with constitutional and legal guarantees to expression, safety and security and just and equitable admin action, and that the legal process can be respected".

Helen Kuun of Indigenous Film Distribution added: "Those opposed to the film are free to exercise their rights to oppose or disagree with the film or the screening thereof, all we ask is that this is done within the parameters of the law and peacefully."

Inxeba is currently screening in 12 cinemas countrywide.

The National House of Traditional Leaders could not be reached for comment.


Read more on:    johannesburg  |  courts

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