Some really good news from the Constitutional Court. Prepublication approval is struck down.
Why are we so happy about this decision? We don’t see this as an invitation for unacceptably explicit depictions of sexual conduct so much as a limitation on the powers of government and the bureaucracy to restrict the rights of freedom of expression.
Significant elements of the ruling emphasized that the freedom of expression rights guaranteed by the constitution embraced “an elemental truth that it is human to communicate” and further that, regarding the role of the press in society, “one might even consider the press to be a public sentinel” and further and perhaps most telling, “the mainstay of the law is to encourage lawful conduct rather than to seek to guarantee lawfulness by restricting conduct altogether … Should a publisher choose not to pursue the avenues available to gain certainty about the lawfulness of intended publication, then he must bear the risks attendant upon the decision to publish.”
In short, publish and be damned.
And to answer more fully the question posed at the head of this post, these principles are all principles the Direct Democracy Forum embrace in their entirety and we see the decision as a confirmation of the correctness of our positions regarding these principles, and particularly as vindication of our determination to protect the autonomy of the judicial system in South Africa. See the DDF policies on the judiciary.
The buck stops at the ballot box.