Democratic Alliance v SA Broadcasting Corporation Soc Ltd (12497/2014)  ZAWCHC 182 (27 November 2015) per Davis J.
The High Court reviewed and set aside the Minister’s decision in July 2014 to approve the recommendation made by the directors of the SABC to appoint Mr Motsoeneng as the COO of the SABC. There was a plea to defer to the choice of the Minister and so Davis J had to consider the appropriate approach to the adjudication of this case within the context of the principle of legality. On 7 July 2014 the Board recommended that the Minister appoint Mr Motsoeneng as the COO of the SABC and the next day the Minister accepted the recommendation and appointed him. The case depends on whether both decisions were procedurally and substantially irrational and this meant examining and evaluating the merits, despite the dispute being described as ‘lawfare’. Davis J examined whether the appointment was made in terms of the principle of legality and then whether to defer to the choice of a democratically elected Minister.