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Case law: Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa / case number 30/2014

On Sunday 10 August 2014 on the SABC SAFM programme, ‘Media at SAFM’ a caller by the name of ‘Sig from Randburg’ called into this programme between 9h00 and 9h30. Amongst other things he referred on air to the Cabinet (the Executive Arm of the State) as an “entirely corrupt Cabinet”. The presenter did not correct the statement. A complaint was received from a Cabinet Minister arguing that the statement was defamatory and that the presenter should have asked the caller either to prove the statement or to withdraw it. The BCCSA held that the omission on the part of the SABC amounted to a contravention of the Broadcasting Code in that it permitted a defamatory statement to have reached the public without a correction. Complaint was upheld and the judgment was regarded as a guideline for broadcasters. The complainant was represented by Ms. Dinesha Deeplal, Attorney: Strauss Daly Attorneys. Read the full judgment here.

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