The North Gauteng High Court Tuesday ruled that media houses will be permitted to broadcast parts of the Oscar Pistorius murder trial, due to start Monday. The application to broadcast the trial live was brought by media groups MultiChoice, eNCA and Eyewitness News.
Judge Dunstan Mlambo ruled that audio recordings of all proceedings be allowed, just as audiovisual images of only parts of the trial will be allowed.
This includes opening and closing arguments and evidence of experts.
However, it excludes evidence of witnesses who object, as well as that of the accused, who has admitted he shot his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentines Day last year.
'It is in the public interest that the goings on during the trial be covered. This will ensure a greater number of people in the community who are unable to attend the proceedings are able to follow wherever they may be,' Mlambo ruled.
He said the broadcast of a 'celebrity' trial might go a long way to address misconceptions about the justice system, but warned against a trial by media.
The Judge ruled that three cameras could be set up to be operated remotely, but that no close-ups or recordings of private conversations would be permitted.
MultiChoice television director George Mazarakis, who has set up a special channel just to cater for the epic trial, saluted South Africa’s judiciary.
The decision marks the first time that parts of a trial in South will be televised live.
It is expected that the feed will be broadcast to a global television audience of hundreds of millions.
According to the justice department, around 300 journalists are expected to cover the case. At least 107 witnesses are expected to testify during the trial.