South Africa: Parly Jamming Case Postponed

Digital Content

Cape Town — An urgent application to prohibit the use of mobile network blocking devices in Parliament was postponed in the High Court in Cape Town on Tuesday afternoon.

The postponement follows negotiations between lawyers for Parliament and those for media houses Primedia Broadcasting and Media24.

"Regrettably, those negotiations have failed," Steven Budlender, for Primedia Broadcasting, told the court.

Norman Arendse, for Parliament, submitted an unsigned affidavit from Secretary to Parliament Gengezi Mgidlana, in which assurances are made that jamming devices would not be used in future.

However, parties could not reach agreement on the live video and audio feeds from the House, which the applicants do not want interrupted.

Parliament would defend its policy on video and audio feeds, which states feeds can be interrupted when there is "grave disorder" in the House.

Judge Elize Steyn said she was loathe to hear the case on Tuesday as Arendse and his colleagues had a right to defend their clients.

Arendse was given until next Monday to file his responding papers. The case would be heard on February 26.

Source: South African Press Association 17 February 2015