Bosasa denied leave to appeal in M&G case

The high court judgment allowed the Mail & Guardian and its former reporter, Adriaan Basson, to protect the identity of sources who provided information that formed part of the basis for a series of articles alleging graft in massive prisons tenders.

Download the full judgment.

Bosasa is suing the newspaper for defamation, and had demanded that the M&G and Basson provide unredacted versions of documentary evidence that featured in the investigation of its relationship with senior department of correctional services officials as part of the legal discovery process ahead of trial.

Judge Tsoka ruled, however, that protecting the anonymity of sources  was crucial to to the ability of the press to carry out its democratic function, which includes revealing corruption: "It is essential that in carrying out this public duty for the public good, the identity of their sources should not be revealed", he said.

"This essential and critical role of the media, which is more pronounced in our nascent democracy, founded on openness, where corruption has become cancerous, needs to be fostered rather than denuded," he added.

Handing down his ruling denying leave to appeal, Judge Tsoka said on Thursday that in his view no court would come to a different conclusion.

Bosasa still has the option to petition the Supreme Court of Appeal directly for leave to appeal.

M&G editor-in-chief Nic Dawes said he was pleased by the decision: "Judge Tsoka's original finding was an important precedent on source protection, bringing our common law in line with the constitutional recognition of press freedom. There can be no investigative journalism without the brave people who blow the whistle, and we must be able to stand by our commitment to keep confidential their identities.

"If Bosasa wishes to continue with their defamation suit, which we believe is without merit, we hope that they will now do so on the basis of the facts, rather than using it as an opportunity to hunt for those who were prepared to assist in revealing those facts".

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Eskom and unions reach wage agreement, workers back at work

The power utility warned that the system would take some time to recover because maintenance work had been postponed because of the unprotected strike

Start of State Security Agency R1-million theft case delayed

Thuso Oesi, a former SSA administrator accused of fraud, did not arrive in court for medical reasons

Why government would fall short of cash if the fuel...

But restructuring the Road Accident Fund levy would reduce pressure on consumers

Gordhan’s Eskom ‘blame game’ underwhelms ANC leaders

Sources at a meeting of the national executive committee said a call was made to shift the power utility to Gwede Mantashe’s ministry of minerals and resources
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×