The dispute between South African Airways (SAA) and Moneyweb, Business Day and Media24 seems to be heading to court within the next two weeks.
This follows SAA indicating on Wednesday that it is not prepared to abandon the interdict it got against the three news outlets on Tuesday. The interdict was to prevent the publication of a leaked internal report by its General Manager: Legal, Risk and Compliance, Ursula Fikelepi.
SAA got the interdict in the early hours of Tuesday morning after an unopposed application in the South Gauteng High Court. The airline contends that the report contains a legal opinion and is as such privileged and not for public consumption.
The court ordered that any content dealing with the content of the report that had been published on the internet and social media, be removed.
Media24 had already published content referring to the report on Sunday and Moneyweb published an article at 20:18 on Monday night. Business Day’s print edition was printed and distributed as normal on Tuesday morning.
The court order only came to Moneyweb’s knowledge at 7:00 on Tuesday morning, whereafter the article and social media posts relating to it were removed. Business Day only learnt about the order at start of business on Tuesday and removed the offending content from its websites. Media24 also removed the offending part of its earlier article from its websites during Tuesday morning.
In a letter to attorney Willem de Klerk, representing the three media groups, SAA legal representative Elton Anderson of Tshisevhe Gwina Ratshimbilani Inc. said his client “will not abandon its interdict and reserves its rights to apply for final relief.”
He also states that SAA reserves its rights to claim damages it may have suffered as a result of any breach of the court order by the media companies.
De Klerk told Moneyweb on Wednesday night his clients would approach the court to have the interdict set aside. They have appointed an advocate and are busy drawing up papers.
De Klerk said the media groups hope to argue their case within the next two weeks.