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Calls to eradicate criminal defamation in SA

Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe says criminal defamation should be declared unconstitutional.

FILE: Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe says criminal defamation should be declared unconstitutional. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe says South Africa's constitution needs to reflect the country's hard earned democracy by eradicating criminal defamation.

On Saturday, the South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) held a panel discussion with the African National Congress in Modderfontein, east of Johannesburg.

Radebe says criminal defamation should be declared unconstitutional.

"We need to approach a High Court in our country, even the Constitutional Court as the apex court, in order to ensure that these crimes of defamation must be declared unconstitutional and unlawful and inimical to ethos of our new constitutional democracy."

At the same time, Sanef says it is encouraged by the ruling party's stance on the matter, adding it's a step in the right direction for media freedom.

Deputy Chairperson Moshoeshoe Monare said, "It's a rare occasion that journalists and the ruling party politicians and lawyers we've agreed on one thing that really this particular crime doesn't have any room or place in the democratic South Africa."