Rica Act's surveillance laws unconstitutional, court finds

The South Gauteng High Court has found that parts of the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information (Rica) Act are unconstitutional.

In 2017, media group amaBhungane filed an application in the high court to challenge the constitutionality of the act.

The court application was launched after it emerged that amaBhungane's investigative journalist Sam Sole had been a target of state surveillance under Rica.

His communications were intercepted while he was reporting on the corruption investigation against former president Jacob Zuma.

The court found that the law was inconsistent with the Constitution in a number of areas, Sole explains.

Sole says the act is clearly an invasion of privacy and does not have the necessary safeguards in place.

The court has agreed that there should be a procedure for notifying a person whose information has been intercepted.

It's an invasion of privacy.

Sam Sole, AmaBhungane journalist

The safeguards that are built into Rica, to prevent abuses of surveillance, are insufficient to do the constitutional job.

Sam Sole, AmaBhungane journalist

We argued that there needs to be a post-surveillance notification.

Sam Sole, AmaBhungane journalist

The court ruled that the validity of the judgment be suspended for two years to allow Parliament to review the legislation.

Listen to the discussion with Clement Manyathela:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Rica Act's surveillance laws unconstitutional, court finds


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