Commenting on Gauteng Judge President Dunstan Mlambo's decision to allow media houses to broadcast portions of the Oscar Pistorius trial live, the South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) believes Mlambo demonstrably tried to balance the right to freedom of expression, which undergirds the important principle of open justice, with Pistorius' right to have a fair trial.
It welcomes the judgment and believes it goes a long way in entrenching an open, democratic society envisaged in the constitution in terms of which justice is not only done, but is seen to be done.
In his ruling today, Mlambo permitted the media to broadcast the trial live, with the provision that any witness can request not to be televised, as suggested by the media in its application. Full audio of the trial will be available to the media to broadcast and two photographers will be allowed to take pictures of witnesses.
Mlambo ruled that the media might broadcast evidence by experts, police and former police officers who worked on the case, state witnesses, opening and closing arguments but ruled that Pistorius' evidence should not be televised.