Huisgenoot editor guilty of contempt

2010-11-30 14:05

The Supreme Court of Appeal today found the editor and publisher of Huisgenoot magazine guilty of contempt of court following an article about singer Jurie Els.

The Supreme Court of Appeal ruled on an appeal by Els regarding a contempt of court application against editor Esmaré Weideman and Media24.

Earlier, the high court in Cape Town had ruled that Weideman had not been in contempt of court when the magazine ran an article in February 2008 in which pop star Robbie Klay accused a South African singer of sexual molestation.

Els had in the meantime been acquitted on charges of molesting Klay as a child after formal charges were brought before the high court.

Els’ name was not mentioned in the in-depth interview with Klay.

However, in the magazine’s editorial, Els named in connection with a court attempt to stop the publication of the article.

Earlier, Els obtained an urgent interdict in the high court in Johannesburg to stop the publication of the article, but had to bring a proper application 10 days later.

Huisgenoot and its English sister magazine, You, did not print the article as submitted to court in Johannesburg, but an edited, censored version before the 10-day period expired.

Els then brought the contempt of court application in the high court in Cape Town against Weideman.

The Cape Town court held, among others, that Els’ contempt of court application should have been heard in Johannesburg.

Today, the Supreme Court of Appeal set aside the high court order and convicted Weideman and Media24 of contempt of court.

The Supreme Court of Appeal referred the matter back to the high court in Cape Town to impose an appropriate punishment.

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