oa De Jure - Like Pontius Pilate of old, the Constitutional Court washed its hands of my human dignity : a critical review of 2011 4 SA 191 (CC) : recent case law

Volume 44, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 2225-7160



On 8 April 2011, the Constitutional Court, through Cameron J, decided by a majority of five to three, that publications made by newspaper, which referred to Robert McBride as a murderer, amongst other things - despite successfully applying for amnesty from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) - were protected by fair comment. This was a successful appeal by , an erstwhile editor and two journalists against a controversial judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeal, which found that reference to McBride as a murderer had been rendered false by virtue of the amnesty granted to him by the TRC ( 2010 4 SA 148 (SCA) par 33). This meant that any such reference to him could no longer be justified either by the defence of true publication or by fair comment, as the basis for the defence had since been rendered false.

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