THE Constitutional Court ruled in favour of the Mail & Guardian on
Thursday, saying 30-days was too short a time limit to lodge a court
challenge after a failed application for information for a story it was
working on, according to a report on the Mail & Guardian Online.
Handing down judgement, Judge Sandile Ngcobo said by unanimous decision the court decided to replace the 30-day limit set down in the Promotion of Access to Information Act with 180 days.
This would stay in place as an interim measure until Parliament corrected section 78,2 of the Act, which set down that time period.
M&G journalist Stefaans BrÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¼mmer had sought information from the Department of Social Development regarding the Oilgate scandal.
BrÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¼mmer had requested information regarding communication between former social development minister Dr Zola Skweyiya, a consortium called IT Lynx and the finance minister.
He had wanted to establish whether Skweyiya had knowledge that Imvume Management head Sandi Majali or one of his companies was part of IT Lynx, which had demanded the implementation of a tender in the belief it had been awarded to it.
The M&G reported in 2005 how state oil company PetroSA irregularly paid R15-million to Imvume Management, which had close ties to the African National Congress. About R11-million of this public money allegedly found its way into the ANC's 2004 election fund.
After the publication of these reports, IT Lynx launched an action in the Pretoria High Court against the State Information and Technology Agency (Sita) and the minister.
It was intended to force them to implement a tender awarded to IT Lynx, or to pay damages amounting to almost R150-million, plus interest and costs.
Click here to read the full report, posted on mg.co.za.