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ConCourt ruling victory for press freedom

The Constitutional Court ruled on Tuesday that a section of the Divorce Act, which bars the media from...

The Constitutional Court of South Africa at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg. Picture: Taurai Maduna/Eyewitness News

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ruled on Tuesday that a section of the Divorce Act, which bars the media from reporting on divorce proceedings, was invalid.<?xml:namespace prefix="o" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office"?>

This meant the media was free to report on the details of divorce cases, provided children were not identified.

The owners of the Sunday Times approached the court, claiming the Divorce Act was overly broad in its ban on reporting.

The move was made after it tried to publish a story on a man who sued his ex-wife for damages because he discovered his son was not his biological child.

Media Monitoring Africa’s William Bird said the ruling was a victory for press freedom.

“What this ruling from the Constitutional Court clearly does is to say we need to make sure that we respect and protect the right top freedom of expression but at the same time the court has a duty to protect the rights of dignity of children and this is what this ruling does,” he said.

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