High Court sets aside Moti gag order against amaBhungane

High Court sets aside Moti gag order against amaBhungane

The Gauteng High Court on Monday overturned a gagging order by the Moti Group against amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism.

Court gavel
File photo

The group approached the court to stop the investigative unit from using “stolen documents” to report on the Moti Group and its founder Zunaid Moti.

The group claimed reporters from the investigating unit were in possession of leaked documents.

The two Moti companies were granted an order last month, barring amaBhungane from using the documents in reporting for its #MotiFiles series of articles. However, the order was suspended after amaBhungane challenged it.

Gauteng Deputy Judge President Roland Sutherland overturned the order, arguing that the group's prosecution of the case constituted an abuse of the court process.

"There must be consequences,” said Judge Sutherland in his order.

“There have been three hearings and prolific papers drawn. Had the applicants initiated an application in the ordinary way, even if by way of urgency, huge effort could have been spared. In such circumstances the appropriate order is to mulct the applicants by an order of costs on the attorney and client scale.

“The order granted to the applicants on 1 June 2023 and amended on 3 June 2023 is set aside in its entirety. The applicants shall bear the costs of the first to fourth respondents on the attorney and client scale, including the costs of two counsels. The applicants shall bear the costs of the amici on the party and party scale including, where employed, the costs of two counsel," ruled Sutherland.

Mazetti v AmaBhungane - Judgment - 2023-06-03 by anastasi mankese mokgobu on Scribd

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