Qoboshiyane NO v Avusa Publishing Eastern Cape (Pty) Ltd (864/2011) [2012] ZASCA 166; 2013 (3) SA 315; [2013] JOL 30408 (SCA) (21 November 2012) per MJD Wallis JA.

An MEC obtained a report into maladministration in a municipality in terms of s 106(1)(b) of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000.   The media asked for a copy in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000 (PAIA) but it was refused. The High Court ordered its delivery.  The MEC complied with that order despite disagreeing with it.

The Supreme Court of Appeal disallowed the appeal because not only had there been peremption (quashed or defeated) but also mootness.  ‘A case is moot and therefore not justiciable if it no longer presents an existing or live controversy which should exist if the Court is to avoid giving advisory opinions on abstract propositions of law.’

‘Although that is the basic principle, the Constitutional Court has held that, where it is in the interests of justice to do so, it has a discretion to consider and determine matters even if they have become moot’.

The judgment was followed in Legal-Aid South Africa v Magidiwana: (26 September 2014) [2014] 4 All SA 570;  [2014] ZASCA 141; 2015 (2) SA 568 (SCA) at 576.