Independent Media, Independent Online and journalist Thabo Makwakwa have bee granted leave to appeal a Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) judgment which interdicted them from publishing an intelligence report on the alleged activities of the CIA in destabilising the ANC.

According to IoL, the report in question was compiled by the State Security Agency and titled ‘US interest in ANC party dynamics’.

The report was handed to Makwakwa by concerned sources in the SSA in December 2021.

The SSA had previously obtained an interdict preventing Independent Media from publishing the report. Judge Daisy Molefe, granted Independent Media leave to appeal yesterday.

Independent Media submitted that there are compelling reasons why leave to appeal should be granted.

This included that:

  • there is no definitive judgment on the question as to how journalists should treat classified information leaked to them, and this is of enormous significance for the work of journalists and for the public’s right of access to information;
  • there is no case law which pronounces conclusively on the issues in the appeal, and thus the matter is deserving of further scrutiny by a higher court.

'For these reasons, I am satisfied that leave to appeal the order to the SCA should be granted,' said Molefe.

Last week, Molefe made public her judgment that had previously interdicted Independent Media from making the report public. Independent Media’s editor-in-chief, Aziz Hartley, said Independent Media, Makwakwa, and IoL, all cited as respondents in the original interdict application, believed that it was the media’s right to report on matters that were in the public interest.

Full IoL report