The Mail & Guardian is going ahead with plans to screen a controversial documentary on President Thabo Mbeki at its Critical Thinking Forum in Johannesburg this week — despite possible legal action by the, writes Riaan Wolmarans on M&G Online

The public broadcaster was on Tuesday seeking an urgent court interdict against Broad Daylight Films to prevent the screening of the documentary titled Unauthorised: Thabo Mbeki. Its application will be heard on Wednesday at the Johannesburg High Court.

Spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said: "The documentary is our property and they [Broad Daylight] do not have the right to show it to anybody." He added that an "approved version" of the documentary will be shown by the SABC when it becomes available.

In its court papers, the SABC says it only became aware on July 13 that the documentary was scheduled to be screened at the M&G Critical Thinking Forum as well as in three other provinces.

The M&G, however, has not been named in the court papers served by the SABC. M&G editor Ferial Haffajee said on Tuesday afternoon: "As far as we know, we are going ahead with the screening and the debate.

"We have had an unprecedented response from the public. Many people have said they will sit on the floor, such is their keenness to see the documentary."

Haffajee said it is her view that South Africans will make up their own minds about what they can and cannot view. "We look forward to a great debate on public broadcasting following the screening. It will feature the president's biographer Ronald Suresh Roberts, the Freedom of Expression Institute's Jane Duncan, the producers and myself," she said.

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