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Journalists launch challenge to constitutionality of Rica

Publish date: 21 April 2017
Issue Number: 4207
Diary: Legalbrief Today
Category: Litigation

The amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism has launched a constitutional challenge to the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act (Rica), notes Legalbrief. In a report on the Mail & Guardian Online site, the applicant and leading investigative journalist Sam Sole, himself a victim of state eavesdroppers, notes that Rica serves as the basis for the lawful interception of citizens’ communications, ‘but we contend that there are fundamental flaws in the law and that various sections are inconsistent with the Constitution’. He says: ‘We are going to court, starting with the High Court in Pretoria, to strengthen the protection of citizens – and journalists – against the potential abuse of this necessary but intrusive legislation.’ Sole says amaBhungane’s complaint falls into two categories: first, the areas where Rica regulates surveillance, but does so in an inadequate manner; and, second, where it fails to regulate certain monitoring activities.