Afro Worldview ( ANN7 rebranded to Afro Worldview ) gets TV media banned for #VerulamRape testimonies
DURBAN – THE public will no longer be able to see testimonies in the Verulam Rape case after news channel Afro Worldview aired sensitive court proceedings live on television.
The footage was in relation to the alleged Verulam Rape case, where a 43-year-old man has been accused of performing heinous sexual crimes on his 10-year-old stepdaughter for the past five years. The story has gained national media attention.
Magistrate Irfaan Khalil revoked permission to television media to broadcast witnesses testimonies after the news channel broadcast sensitive court proceedings on Tuesday
Afro Worldview, was formerly known as ANN 7 and is owned by Mzwanele Manyi, who bought the business from the Gupta family last year.
At the start of his court appearances last month at the Verulam Family Court, Khalil allowed eNCA and AfroWorldview to televise proceedings, but with conditions.
“You may not show the identity of the accused or broadcast information regarding the identity of the alleged victim,” the magistrate warned at the time.
The bail application continued on Tuesday, but investigation officer in the case, Warrant Officer Nevarge Lutchminarain, was midway his testimony, Khalil stopped proceedings.
“I have just been given notice that the case is being broadcasted live,” he said.
Earlier in the day, eNCA journalist, Dasen Thathiah had assured Khalil that although the case was being recorded, footage would be edited to report ethically.
However, it emerged that part of the case had been broadcasted live on DSTV’s vhannel 405 by Afro World View and was also being broadcast live on YouTube.
Khalil immediately stopped the case and called for cameras to be turned off.
Following an adjournment Khalil told the court he had been called by an editor and was notified that proceedings were broadcast live.
“This is a sensitive case in which the identities and rights of the alleged victim, the accused and their legal representatives must be protected,” he said.
At the time, the ID number and name of the victim, a minor, had been read. It is unclear whether this was carried in the live broadcast.
Khalil called forward an Afro Worldview journalist to ask her why the broadcast was aired live
She told the magistrate that this happened prior to Khalil stating he would tell media what parts of testimony could be televised at the end of the day.
Khalil, concerned about the impacts on the case as the trial is yet to start, then banned all television media from carrying any footage during testimony.
Khalil said the broadcasters would now only be allowed to broadcast arguments made by legal representatives.
Blip by TV station leads to magistrate banning all television media from carrying footage during testimony.