FXI Law Clinic Cases

The FXI has contributed to the body of knowledge on freedom of expression in South Africa through cases undertaken by the FXI Law Clinic. The FXI Law Clinic has intervened in over 200 freedom of expression related matters since its inception. 

Brief history of the FXI Law Clinic

The Media Defence Trust was established in 1989 in response to the wave of state action against the media, such as the closure of newspapers and detention of journalists. In its six years of establishment the Media Defence Trust was the sole supporter and defender of independent media and journalists. The Media Defence Trust was incorporated into the FXI in 1994, at the request of its administrators, and became the Defence Fund of the FXI. The Defence Fund was re-launched as the Freedom of Expression Defence Fund in 1997 to reflect the broadening of its role to include all cases involving freedom of expression and access to information. The Freedom of Expression Institute Law Clinic was established in 2005 and is accredited by the Law Society of South Africa.

Timile and Radio 702
The complainant made a claim that a certain debate on radio regarding the canning of a controversial film from being broadcasted by the SABC. The complaint claimed that the debate that was had on the radio broadcast was unbalanced and biased. The complainant claimed that the since the matter of canning of the film was of importance, the debate that was had on radio should have balanced out by having conflicting views on the matter. The complainant claimed that there was only one view that was expressed and not alternative or contrary views were allowed on the show
The Commission held that the "canning" of the film was of interest of the public but not of public importance, secondly the complaint was not based on the "canning" of the film but of the debate that was had subsequent to the canning. The Commission held that different views was allowed on the show, as people could call in and stipulate their views. The Commission held that there was a sufficient balance of different views on the show and absolute balance would be impossible to achieve. The complaint was dismissed.
Open/View PDF (Timile-v-Radio-702.pdf)
June 21 2007 By Freedom Of Expression Institute radio 702, timile
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