Bid for uninterrupted Parliament coverage withheld


An application by various media houses to have Parliament show uninterrupted proceedings of events taking place in the Chamber, has been rejected by the Western Cape High Court.

In passing his verdict, Judge Owen Rogers said that the urgent request brought-on by Primedia Broadcasting, Media24, the Right2Know Campaign, and the South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) to have wide-angled television shots and uncensored audio transmissions broadcasted, would not granted and that the final applications would he heard on April 20th.

The findings comes after last month’s State of the Nation chaos in which the eviction of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), was not shown on television with the camera focusing instead on National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete, and National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Chairwoman, Thandi Modise.

Although live audio coverage of the removal could be heard, videos taken by journalists and other party MP’s inside the Chamber, which subsequently went viral after being posted online, were only the visual references as the chaos that occurred.

Last week, Advocate Steven Budlender, for the applicants, said that it was within the rights of citizens to follow proceedings in the National Assembly and that placing restrictions on the various feeds amounted to censorship.

Rebuking his claims, Advocate Jeremy Gauntlett, for Parliament, stated that certain aspects handled in Parliament, although interesting, was not suitable for public viewing and that certain regulations needs implementing to protect its dignity.

A similar claim into the jamming of cellphone signals shortly before President Jacob Zuma was due to deliver his SONA, is still being investigated.


CAPTION: Still image of the Economic Freedom Fighters' (EFF) removal from Parliament during  President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation Address, that was never shown on television. IMAGE sourced from eNCA