The Constitutional Court has ruled in favour of the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism, confirming a high court ruling deeming parts of RICA unconstitutional.

The Constitutional Court on Thursday ruled in favour of the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism, confirming a Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg ruling deeming parts of the Regulation of interception of Communication Act (RICA) unconstitutional.  
In a majority judgment written by Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga, the court dismissed the appeal by the ministers of police and the State Security Agency with costs.
READ | amaBhungane files papers in ConCourt to confirm high court ruling deeming RICA unconstitutional, invalid
He said the declaration of unconstitutionality by the high court was confirmed only to the extent that RICA failed to provide for safeguards to ensure that a designated judge is sufficiently independent.
Justice Madlanga also said RICA failed to “adequately prescribe procedures to ensure that data obtained pursuant to the interception of communication is managed lawfully and not used or interfered with unlawfully”.
It also failed to provide adequate safeguard where the subject of surveillance was a practicing lawyer or a journalist, he said.
The amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism approached the apex court for a confirmatory ruling.
In 2019, amaBhungane emerged victorious after the high court declared mass surveillance and the interception of foreign signals by the National Communications Centre “unlawful and invalid”, News24 reported at the time.
The legal battle began in 2017 when the publication received confirmation its managing partner, Sam Sole, had been under surveillance under RICA legislation.
News24 previously reported that this occurred while Sole was investigating a National Prosecuting Authority decision to drop corruption charges against former president Jacob Zuma.
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