Original Research - Special Collection: Structural subjects - Church History and Systematic Theology

Challenges to the sub judice rule in South Africa

Kobus van Rooyen
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 70, No 1 | a2714 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2714 | © 2014 Kobus van Rooyen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 May 2014 | Published: 20 November 2014

About the author(s)

Kobus van Rooyen, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa


As a lawyer, it is a privilege to contribute to this Festschrift in honour of Professor Doctor Johan Buitendag. His entire career has been a quest for the truth. In the process, he has fearlessly rejected political agendas based on the Bible, and has inspired countless students in their quest to serve God in a practical and humane manner. His published research as well as the output of his doctoral students, both present and past, bear witness to a life dedicated to the search for knowledge in the service of God. He has also assisted substantially in placing South African theological research on the international map. In a sense, this article which deals with the protection of the right to a fair trial of an accused, also acknowledges Johan Buitendag’s quest for justice for all South Africans, whatever their creed, gender, race or standing. The subject of my article demonstrates my own quest to promote the constitutional right of an accused to a fair trial, a right that should not be subject to inordinate pressure by the media, and which gives priority to the right of an accused to be presumed innocent: an accused who may frequently suffer loneliness and a sense of rejection. Related to that it is, of course, always important to bear in mind that freedom of expression is at the heart of our democracy. A balance has, accordingly, to be struck between the competing rights.


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