CAPE TOWN - Judge Roland Sutherland from the South Gauteng High Court has declared the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act (Rica) unlawful.
News 24's Investigative Unit Amabhungane went to court after learning that its managing partner, Sam Sole, had been the target of state surveillance under Rica.
The unit says Rica is unconstitutional, as it has failed to safeguard the right to privacy, the right to freedom of expression and access to justice.
“The ability of journalists and particularly investigative journalists’ ability to do their job is based on their ability to communicate confidentially with sources and this is to make sure that the sources don’t become vulnerable when talking to journalists and protect them from potential harm,” said Karabo Rajuili from Amabhungane.
“When a warrant is issued by a designated judge, that judge should consider the fact that there is a journalist or anybody else who has got a duty of confidentiality in their work and that should be a factor that is considered as part of the judge’s consideration when granting an interception when taping the phone of a journalist.”
The ruling, however, declared certain sections invalid- such as interception and not those dealing with sim cards.