Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry asks if there's a law firm willing to sue 'outrageous' ANN7 and MultiChoice for 'broadcasting lies' on DStv.

The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry is asking whether there is a law firm willing to sue ANN7 (DStv 405) and MultiChoice that is carrying the controversial "Gupta news" channel on its DStv satellite pay-TV platform.

ALSO READ: MultiChoice chairperson Nolo Letele says DStv doesn't have control over ANN7.

In an open letter, Janine Myburgh, president of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, says that "the issue of DStv broadcasting the outrageous ANN7 'news' channel raises the broader question of the responsibility of the new forms of media for the content they publish".

"(A feeble defence, DStv, July 27). If, for instance, I write a seriously defamatory letter about an individual or company and Business Day publishes the letter, the victim will sue both me and Business Day. And rightly so."

"If ANN7 defames Pravin Gordhan, he should be in a position to sue both ANN7 and DStv for propagating the defamation."

"The Facebook situation is even worse. It accepts no responsibility for content provided free by the public and, as we know, there has been some vile material on social media."

"Similarly, Gordhan should be able to sue Bell Pottinger, its directors and Facebook for the damage done to his good name."

"Making the situation worse is that social media is drawing advertisers away from the legitimate and responsible media, which do check facts, employ professionals and perform a service vital to any healthy democracy."

"The situation in which a media company allows itself to be used to broadcast lies and insults has continued for too long."

"Is there a law firm out there that is prepared to sue both the defamers and social media or DStv?
There is a reputation to be made here.

Janine Myburgh
President, Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry