THE court battle over leaked documents between the SABC and the Sunday Times was compared by Judge Nigel Willis to the exposure of a high-profile extra-marital affair, writes Judy Lelliot in The Times.
Judge Willis of the South Gauteng High Court said: ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œLetÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s say a prominent individual ? wrote an unfortunate love letter ? and someone gets hold of that letter and photocopies it and a newspaper uses the copy of the letter.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe individual will be embarrassed and the individual has various remedies if the newspaper wants to publish ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Â can the individual ask for the copy?ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
The document the SABC wants returned formed the basis for a March front page lead revealing ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œmass corruption and gross mismanagementÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â at the public broadcaster.
Advocate PJ van Blerk for SABC argued that the Sunday TimesÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s possession of the documents was a continued illegality and an ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œinvasion of privacyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â.
Advocate Wim Trengove for the Sunday Times argued that the return of the report would expose the newspaperÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s source, who felt in considerable danger and that a ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œwitch-huntÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â to expose the source was under way.
Click here to read the full report, posted on timeslive.co.za.