Van Breda wins live-streaming battle
Murder-accused Henri van Breda has won his battle in the SCA to prohibit Media24 from live-streaming his trial, notes a News24 report. ‘The matter is remitted to the High Court for reconsideration in accordance with the principles set out in the judgment,’ the SCA ruled yesterday, ordering Media24 to pay Van Breda's costs.
In April, Western Cape High Court Judge Siraj Desai refused the state and Van Breda leave to appeal his decision allowing Media24 permission to live-stream the axe murder accused's trial. Desai said there was no evidence to support the state's claim of possible adverse effects of broadcasting the testimony of witnesses, nor was it easily ascertainable how Van Breda's fair-trial rights would be compromised.
‘If there is any hint of that occurring, the order granted by me can be easily varied.’ Desai said at the time that there was no real prospect of the trial being jeopardised.
Van Breda is facing three counts of murder, one of attempted murder, and one of obstructing the course of justice.
The High Court may still allow a sound broadcast of Van Breda’s testimony, according to a report in Die Burger. Attorney Johan Theron, acting on behalf of Media24, is quoted as saying it all depends on Desai’s interpretation of the SCA judgment.
The SCA held that a blanket ban on broadcasting was not justified. Some of the guidelines set by the SCA include that the testimony by experts could, as a rule, be broadcast, but layman witnesses may object and their wishes should be respected.
Netwerk24 editor Henriëtte Loubser says they were studying the judgment to consider their options, but were satisfied with many aspects, including its confirmation of the open justice principle. Lorinda van Niekerk, for Van Breda, said they were also still studying the judgment, but were satisfied ‘in principle’.
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