SABC loses round one in TNA Media court duel

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THE South Gauteng High Court yesterday ruled in favour of TNA Media, with costs, in an application by the SABC regarding an agreement between the media group and the public broadcaster on the ‘Business Briefing’ series which was aired on SABC2.

The SABC cancelled the agreement abruptly last year and TNA Media is suing the broadcaster for damages.

However, in a counter claim, the SABC sought relief from the court to declare the agreement null and void and constitutionally invalid.

The public broadcaster wanted a stay on the arbitration proceedings until investigations by the Special Investigating Unit and other investigations into state capture were completed.

Yesterday’s court proceedings focused on the urgency of the matter and not on the merits of the SABC’s main application.

The matter in which TNA opted to sue the SABC was a separate matter.

The SABC contended that the matter was urgent while TNA Media disagreed.

Judge Twala found in favour of TNA Media and struck the matter from the urgent court roll.

The judge told the SABC that if it wanted to pursue the matter it would have to do so through the normal court procedures. TNA was awarded costs, including the cost of two counsel.

TNA Media contended that the agreement between itself and the SABC, whereby the broadcaster would flight the business briefings series live on

SABC2, was not unconstitutional and argued that the agreement was fair, equitable and cost­effective and that all the requirements of the SABC’s policies were complied with.

TNA told the court that the agreement to flight the programmes was originally signed in 2012, renewed in 2015 and repudiated only in June last year.

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