Nicqui Galaktiou Inc. was established in August 2016 and comprises a diverse staff compliment of Director, Nicqui Galaktiou (with over 20 years in the legal industry), Senior Associates Kameshni Naidoo and Megan Ross, Associate Kristen Taylor, Candidate Attorney Thembelihle Shabalala and support staff, who are an integral part of the team. NGinc prides itself on its client base that it has established over a short period of time, which includes several listed corporates, a number of private companies, politicians, entrepreneurs and celebrities. NGinc provides both its local and international clients with a range of legal services including litigation and alternate dispute resolution, commercial law, bankruptcy, white collar crime and due diligences, to name a few, as well as media law, which is highly specialised as there are very few attorneys and law firms who have experience in this specific area of law. NGinc also focuses on the growth of its network of legal, public relations and advisory institutions both locally and globally with whom it is forming close relationships and collaborations. We are committed to not only providing our clients with litigious and commercial support but also in assisting in the development of their business models.
The firm’s philosophy is demonstrated by the Yin Yang symbol, together with our principles of integrity, innovation and commitment. NGinc implements the strategies advocated by Sun Tzu in The Art of War. One such strategy is “Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.”
As commercial, contractual and litigation are widely practised areas of the law, we have chosen to focus on giving a brief overview of media law in this article.
The role of the South African media formed a large part of the country’s controversial history. From the Apartheid era (when it was legal for the government to censor news through the Publications Act 42 of 1974) South Africa broke the boundaries and progressed into a new era with the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa in 1996. Section 16(1) of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution provides everyone with the right to freedom of expression (including freedom of the press and other media). The introduction of this historical piece of legislation transformed the importance that the media had in South Africa. Over the last two decades the media’s presence and contribution has developed immeasurably, which has brought with it the challenge of balancing two fundamental rights, namely freedom of the press and the right to privacy.
Nicqui, who specialises in media law, has previously represented prominent individuals, politicians, influential businessmen and celebrities (both local and international) in challenging the press in instances where the broadcaster or publication has published/broadcast misleading, untrue or defamatory allegations. Nicqui has represented clients in various forums in which disputes with the media are adjudicated such as:
- The Press Council of South Africa comprising of the Press Ombudsman and the Appeals Panel which is an independent co-regulatory mechanism created by the media to adjudicate disputes between the media and the individual in a fair, efficient and cost-effective way. The aim of the Press Council in adjudicating complaints is to consider the right to freedom of expression which includes freedom of the press against an individual’s rights protected by the Constitution.
- The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) was established by the National Association of Broadcasters (“NAB”). It is an independent tribunal which adjudicates complaints from the public against broadcasters.
- The Court Process which allows an aggrieved party to institute legal proceedings for defamation and claim damages against the relevant publisher, broadcaster or journalist amongst others.
NGinc has represented clients in all three forums and has the necessary experience and skill to do so. We recognise, especially with the country’s current state of economic and political affairs, that there is a demand for media and social media law advisory services if one considers the reputational risks that businesses and individuals face. This demand has been particularly exacerbated by the increased use of electronic and digital platforms and trends throughout the world which has resulted in a significant impact in wide-spread media coverage. We provide our clients with extensive experience and knowledge to promote their objectives of sustainable business success by implementing clearly defined strategies which are both traditional and cutting – edge.