The Amabhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism has gone to court to challenge the RICA act, which it says is unconstitutional and is being used to spy on citizens.

Amabhungane and its managing partner Sam Sole filed papers in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria this week against the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, the Minister of State Security, the Minister of Communications, the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, the Minister of Police, the office of the Inspector General of Intelligence, the office for interception centres, the National Communications Centre, the joint standing committee on intelligence and the State Security Agency.

Amabhungane said the RICA (Regulation of Interception of Communication and Provision of Communication Related Information Act) is unconstitutional as it does not let subjects know they are being monitored, either by phonecalls, meetings, emails and messages. These recordings are then stored indefinitely.

Amabhungane also says RICA is inconsistent with the constitution and invalid as it fails to prescribe proper procedure when state officials are examining and storing information; the appointed RICA judge is not independent and RICA does not regulate bulk surveillance and foreign signals interception by state officials.

In the application, Amabhungane says RICA does not protect people like lawyers and journalists who have confidential communication rights in order to protect sources and clients…