Two days into The Trial of the Plant and evidence has yet to be given. For the last two days the court has been preoccupied with the state’s challenge to the live streaming of the trial. Citing the abnormal circumstances of defendants broadcasting their trial, the state has argued that The Dagga Couple would unduly benefit from this streaming and possibly even profit from it.
Fortunately the Judges seem to be having none of it, and the case is set to be streamed live from tomorrow onwards. Of course assuming the Supreme Court of Appeal doesn’t turn over the ruling.
The case is in its’ infancy and barely off the ground and already we are experiencing delays and backlogs of bureaucracy. Much to the plan of the state it would seem.
What is truly baffling is the logic by which the state seems to claim unfair streaming rights. Citing that the couple is not a media house or agency, the state argued that they should not be allowed to stream their own case as they could not be seen as independent media observers.
The retort is brilliantly eloquent, those responsible for the streaming is a non-profit organisation. By the structure the state has in place, one could happily argue the only truly independent observer would be an organisation without profiteering motives. After all, the majority of media houses are owned by private individuals or corporation, leading their reporting to a prima facie case of bias.
It is fairly clear to most that the state doesn’t want this case broadcast as it will expose the lies and propaganda employed. Further one could be sure to bet that their case is not especially strong and the evidence the couple will be providing is particularly strong. The state simply does not want the truth to be broadcast to the public.
So what next?
The trial is set to continue in the morning, appeal or not, the state will have to concede to the live streaming of the case. The only condition is that the material may not be altered after the fact, especially to lobby for cannabis. Hardly a tough pill to swallow as most of us would agree it is the state that is more concerned about what facts arise during the course of this trial.
The South African public must brace themselves, we are about to learn the real extent to which the government has lied about the plant.