Today’s proceedings started with the issue of broadcasting still being unresolved. Judge Natvarlal Ranchod made sure to pick the definitions of streaming/media/broadcasting apart.
The respondents were clear in their message to the Judge in that they felt “FOGFA is not the media nor is it a media house”, and as such is not licensed to broadcast, nevertheless their own trial.
Judge Ranchod entertained the state to argue their stay of broadcasting of the trial and allowed them good airtime to make sure they are running the full circle around their own arguments. It was established that the definition of broadcast has a “particular meaning” which is different to that of live streaming and that for the purpose of the trial, the definitions of such needed to be carefully looked at.
Judge Ranchod mentioned that the broadcasting of the trial via FOGFA / ANTFarm does not infringe on any broadcasting rights. He went further to point out that the Bill of Rights Section 16 allows: everyone the right to impart information.
The state troopers were trying to discredit Myrtle & Jules indirectly by stating: “FOGFA is nothing more than a front”.
These very valid questions were asked:
What is the difference between a media house and FOGFA streaming the content, as is, unedited?
What is the difference in someone walking into and attending an open court, and attending a court procedure through digital means like live streaming?
Surely the outcome of the trial would be unabated by making the proceedings available to the public via live stream, outside of the mainstream media’s channels. Surely, the court’s right to serve a judgment would be unaffected by the presence of the public silently tuning in to what is already happening.
Does the state imply that this is kind of like Schrodinger’s court?
One thing was very certain in that the state was overly concerned that this new independent broadcasting situation that’s disputed, would set a precedent for the future broadcasting of court proceedings, and so it must.
The high of the day were brought on by the respondent’s legal team defending their view that somehow Jules and Myrtle was unfaithful in their representation on their involvement of Fields of Green for All, which is totally untrue. They could NOT have been more open about what FOGFA means to them, and this case.
“They lied to us” shouted the state’s troopers, in relation to the FOGFA motives in the application, which left the whole court room reeling at the accusation.
Judge Ranchod got restless with the opposition’s circular arguments to keep broadcasting denied for FOGFA and Antfarm and he tried to see the light in their dark unsubstantiated tunnel. At some point during the proceedings, it was clear that Judge Ranchod would like to proceed and move forward, and by the looks of things, he is fine with letting FOGFA broadcast with certain conditions.
The respondent’s legal team said that the judge and court can be tested and that he feels like another court would get to another ruling. The argument continued that FOGFA has no rights to broadcast their own trial, unedited. The response to the application to deny broadcasting to FOGFA / Ant Farm has been supported by The Daily Maverick who is a new player in the game seeking rights to broadcast the trial as an independent news and media house.
Avd. Don Mahon from The FOGFA legal team eloquently argued that the trial is in our national interest and that another court would not necessarily come to another decision in respect to the broadcasting of the trial via FOGFA and Antfarm. They also suggested that the broadcast will happen via The Daily Maverick’s website and that FOGFA will have no hand in the stream’s output or editing as “…defendants don’t want anything bad reported”
Prejudice was called as the bigger issue at hand with all of the state’s trooper claims being called out as speculative and that there is no basis for such. The distinction between Broadcast and Broadcasting Service, and whether the argument of broadcasting rights to the extent of personal broadcasting rights applies to the plaintiffs wanting to stream their own trial, was argued with a clear achievement.
Judge Ranchod ruled after lunch that streaming may be permitted under certain conditions and that the state may petition the matter with the Supreme Court of Appeal to stop the streaming on a successful application if they wish.
Day 3 in court is set to be the start of the Trial of the Plant, but who knows what other tricks they have up their sleeves to stall and disrupt the agreed schedule of proceedings.
On that note, the costs of the last two days worth of unproductive arguments will need to be offset, and Judge Ranchod has awarded the possibility to add the costs of the last two days to someone’s bill at the end of this trial.
#TotPlant02 In The Media Today
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