HH 29-2007
HC 1786/06
terms of the Act. The Commission then filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against the decision of
the Administrative Court. In the meantime, having brought itself within the ambit of the law, the
applicant re-launched its constitutional challenge against various sections of the Act.
The two matters were dealt with at the same time by the Supreme Court. In the Constitutional
challenge the second respondent herein, the Minister, was also cited as the second respondent. A
composite judgment in respect of both matters was handed down on 14 March 2005. The findings by
the Supreme Court and its determination of the issues on the Constitutional challenge are not
relevant for present purposes and I will therefore confine myself to the determination of the appeal
against the decision of the Administrative Court deeming the applicant as having been registered as a
mass media service operator.
Before the Supreme Court, the appeal by the Commission succeeded to the extent that the
Supreme Court decided that the Administrative Court had misdirected itself in ordering that the
applicant be deemed to have been registered when it had not determined the allegations by the
Commission that the applicant had not complied with the Act. The order by the Administrative Court
was accordingly set aside.
Before the Administrative Court the applicant had alleged that the Chairman of the
Commission had been biased against the applicant. It is common cause that in fact, prior to the
application for the registration of the applicant being made to the Commission, the Chairman of the
Commission had authored articles wherein he described the applicant as an outlaw and that its
application would not be considered on the turn. Although the Supreme Court found that actual bias
had not been established on the part of the Chairman, nevertheless the Court concluded that the
utterances by the Chairman could have created an apprehension in the minds of reasonable men that
justice would not be done. However, the Supreme Court also found that the applicant had requested
of the Commission that it, the applicant, be heard on the question relating to the allegation that it had
failed to comply with AIPPA. This request was turned down. The Supreme Court accordingly found
that there was an irregularity in the manner in which the Commission had dealt with the application.
The court decided that the applicant should be heard on the allegations of non-compliance with
AIPPA. The Court therefore concluded that the proceedings of the Commission were voidable on the
grounds of bias. As a consequence, the Supreme Court ordered that the issue of the registration of
the applicant be remitted to the Commission for consideration de novo.
As a result of the decision of the Supreme Court the applicant made another application for
registration in terms of AIPPA. Again the application was unsuccessful. On 28 July 2005 under Case
Number HC 3744/ 05 the applicant filed an application with the High Court to have a decision of the

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