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(Oct 30, 2009) It was reported on October 26, 2009, that the South African Cabinet approved and is gearing up to propose to parliament the Protection of Harassment Bill, which, if passed, will protect those individual victims of stalking who are not protected under the Domestic Violence Act. (Chantelle Benjamin, New 'Stalking' Bill Worries Media, BUSINESSDAY, Oct. 26, 2009, available at http://www.businessday.co.za/Articles/Content.aspx?id=84948.)

The bill is under criticism for the negative impact it may have on journalists' ability to do their work. The South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) has submitted a complaint to the South African Law Reform Commission in which it expressed concern over the possible unintended effects the bill could have in preventing journalists from doing in-depth investigations, which, according to one SANEF member, may involve "following, watching, pursuing or accosting a person." Citing a similar United Kingdom act, SANEF noted that in the absence of an express media exception, which the bill does not include in its current form, journalists may be subject to prosecution simply for doing their work. (Id.)

Author: Hanibal Goitom More by this author
Topic: Freedom of the press More on this topic
Jurisdiction: South Africa More about this jurisdiction

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Last updated: 10/30/2009