Sanef supports application to appeal Huff Post ruling

2017-05-03 20:59

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Johannesburg – The South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) wants the Press Council’s highest adjudication body – the Appeals Panel – to clarify the parameters of freedom of expression in the Press Code of South Africa.

This follows the announcement by the executive director of the Press Council, Joe Thloloe, that he has filed an application for leave to appeal the hate speech ruling by the Press Ombudsman of South Africa against Huffington Post South Africa, Sanef said in a statement on Wednesday.

Thloloe filed the application to appeal the ruling with Judge Bernard Ngoepe, chair of the Appeals Panel.

The ruling in question by Johan Retief, the ombudsman, had attracted considerable public interest and comment and had caused widespread confusion in newsrooms about the parameters of freedom of expression in the Press Code of South Africa, said Sanef.

Sanef also expressed its support for Thloloe’s application to appeal the ruling.

"We have noted Huffington Post SA’s apology and the publication’s decision not to appeal the ruling. Based on the reaction received from our members and comments by legal and media experts, we fully agree that clarity is needed from the Press Council’s highest adjudication body – the Appeals Panel – on this important matter," Sanef said.

As the largest organisation representing editors from South Africa’s national, local and community media titles, Sanef said it believed that such clarity would guide "our" reportage on opinions that may offend or discriminate in the future.

Read more on:    sanef  |  media

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