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Amabhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism NPC and Another v Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and Others (25978/2017) [2019] ZAGPPHC 384

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Amabhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism NPC and Another v Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and Others (25978/2017) [2019] ZAGPPHC 384

16th September 2019

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Click here to read the full judgment on Saflii

[1] There are two discrete questions raised in this matter.

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[2] The first is a challenge to the constitutionality of several provisions of the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication Related Information Act 70 of 2002 (RICA) which statute permits the interception of communications of any person by authorised state officials subject to prescribed conditions.

[3] The second question is a challenge to the admitted practice of the State in conducting 'bulk interceptions' of telecommunications traffic on the basis that no lawful authority exists to do so. The. National Strategic Intelligence Act 30 of 1994 (NSI) and the Intelligence Services Control Act 40 of 1994 (ISO) are implicated in the analysis of this issue.

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[4] The two questions are addressed in turn, although much of the normative controversy that attaches to one or other question permeates the other question too.

[5] The parties to this case, where necessary to identify them individually, are referred to by their names as set out in the heading to this judgment. In support of the applicant's case, two amici curiae participated; Right2Know Campaign and Privacy International, represented by a single counsel. The Minister of Justice, the Minister of Defence and the Minister of Police were together represented by one set of counsel. A group of respondents forming the security cluster, ie, the Minister of State Security, the office for Interception centres, the national communications Centre, and the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence were represented by one set of counsel. The other respondents played no part in the hearing.

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