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South Africa: Language barrier thwarts Competition Tribunal

 |  January 22, 2014

As South Africa’s Competition Tribunal hears a case brought by the Competition Commission that accuses media group Media24 of anticompetitive behavior, reports say the Tribunal has hit a roadblock as witnesses giving testimony prefer to do so in Afrikaans, causing the Tribunal to decide that all testimony must be translated in English and Afrikaans.

Reports say many of the documents connected to the case are also in Afrikaans.

The case centers on claims that Media24 used its newspaper Forum as leverage to sell advertising spots at below market costs to hamper rival GNN’s ability to compete. Reports say the company is accused of such conduct between 2004 and 2009; Forum was later discontinued.

Since trial at the Tribunal has begun, however, both sides have expressed concern over the treatment of their testimony and their translations. One key witness reportedly had to switch from Afrikaans to broken English after an interpreter was unable to adequately translate his testimony.

Full content: The Citizen

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