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Media houses challenge Parly's broadcast policy in court

Five media houses want to ensure that Parliament's live broadcast captures everything that happens.

FILE: An urgent court application challenging Parliament's policy on filming and broadcasting will be heard in the Western Cape High Court on Friday. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - An urgent court application challenging Parliament's policy on filming and broadcasting will be heard in the Western Cape High Court on Friday.

Five organisations, including Primedia Broadcasting, want to ensure that Parliament's live broadcast feed captures everything that happens inside the National Assembly chamber especially when there are disruptions.

During President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation Address (Sona) last month, Economic Freedom Fighters Members of Parliament were physically removed from the chamber but the confrontation was not carried live on television because cameras were fixed on the presiding officers.

Law firm Webber Wentzel's Dario Milo represents the applicants in this matter.

"That policy doesn't properly articulate the importance of openness for an institution like Parliament and absolutely key to it is that every material event that happens in Parliament, we argue, should be broadcast which includes disruptions."

He says the application is part of a broader court case prompted by the signal jamming debacle during Sona.