The matter concerned an order of the High Court obtained on an urgent, ex-parte (only one party present), and in-camera (closed to the public) basis by the Moti Group, the applicants. The order directs amaBhungane, the respondents, to hand over certain documents to the Moti Group and interdicts them from reporting on such material. The Moti Group argued that the documents were stolen and sought the immediate return of the documents that contain confidential and proprietary information. amaBhungane sought to have the matter urgently reconsidered arguing that the order should not have been granted and should be set aside.
As amici curiae, SANEF, MMA, and CFE made three submissions:
In advancing these arguments and highlighting the role of freedom of expression in constitutional democracies, SANEF, MMA, and CFE drew on international and comparative foreign law.
Michael Bishop and Michael Power were on brief in this matter.
On 3 July 2023, Sutherland DJP handed down judgment, setting aside the urgent, ex parte, and in-camera order in its entirety, and ordering the costs to be paid by the Moti Group. In his findings, Sutherland DJP noted that the “facts described demonstrate an egregious example of the abuse of the ex parte procedure (para 11)” and he expressed appreciation for the contributions made by the amici curiae (para 5). On 26 September 2023, the Constitutional Court of South Africa issued an order refusing to hear a direct appeal by the Moti Group, with costs.……