Carte Blanche’s Gold Reef City report was defamatory

2011-02-23 14:49

An episode on unsafe steel rails at Gold Reef City that was flighted on investigative television programme Carte Blanche was defamatory, the South Gauteng High Court has found.

This afternoon, Judge Caroline Nicholls delivered the ruling on the matter. Gold Reef City was claiming R47 million in damages for defamation.

The claim includes R43.1 million in lost revenue for the theme park, R3.66 million for the casino and R200 000 in general damages.

If awarded, the defamation claim will be the biggest in South African legal history.

Nicholls ruled that the programme flighted in March 2005 was “blatantly one-sided”.

Gold Reef City are entitled to damages, but the theme park and casino must prove to the court that it suffered damages up to R47 million.

The drama started when technician Paul Boshoff approached Gold Reef City offering to conduct tests on their steel fun rides.

Boshoff did the tests and allegedly identified problems on the “crazy cocopan” and the “golden loop”, but was not paid what was agreed upon.

An angry Boshoff then approached the M-Net show.

Gold Reef City argued that the story cost them millions of rands in lost revenue.

The theme park’s attorney and director of law firm Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs, Robert Scott, declined to comment, saying he had to brief his client.

Carte Blanche executive producer and director George Mazarakis could not be reached for comment.

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