Joost thinks release of new book will hasten his death

2013-10-02 00:00

JOOST van der Westhuizen’s recent statements about being healthy again shows that he is making no secret of anything in his life, including his disease.

This was how journalist Gavin Prins, who has written a book on Van der Westhuizen, reacted when he heard that the former Springbok captain had made an urgent court application to stop the book’s release.

Van der Westhuizen’s application will be heard in the Pretoria High Court today.

Van der Westhuizen said stress and worry about the book could speed up his death because of his advanced motor neuron disease that he has been living with for two years.

He brought the application against publisher Random House Struik.

Prins said in his court papers that although he and the publisher do not doubt that Van der Westhuizen is terminally ill, the former athlete had “for whatever reason” recently announced on Twitter his body is healthy again after 10 weeks of “intensive cleansing”.

Prins said Van der Westhuizen had made a similar upbeat statement about his health in September in an interview with You magazine.

He said Van der Westhuizen’s fame meant he could not have the same expectations of privacy as an ordinary person.

If Van der Westhuizen is really worried about the book causing dangerous stress levels, he can avoid it by not reading the book or discussing it with anyone, said Prins.

Even if the book did cause near terminal stress in Van der Westhuizen’s life, it did not give him the right to get an interdict against the publication.

Prins added that the romantic lives of the famous couple formed an important part of the society’s social news.

Van der Westhuizen’s romantic life, his relationship with Vittone and everything that forms part of this subject in the book has already been placed in the public domain.

Prins said he plans to print 5 000 copies in Afrikaans and 5 000 in English in October.

If the court awards the interdict against Prins and his publisher today, Random would lose at least R1 million and he would lose R200 000­, Prins said.

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