Editor sues Steve Hofmeyr

2009-03-13 09:05

Cape Town - Esmaré Weideman, editor of Huisgenoot/YOU, is claiming a total of R260 000 from singer Steve Hofmeyr after he last year threw tea all over her, as well as for comments on his blog.

The summons was issued at the Cape Town High Court this week and has already been served to Hofmeyr's lawyers.

Weideman claims Hofmeyr assaulted her and defamed her.

According to court documents, her claim is based on the assault she suffered from the tea incident at the Lost Palace at Sun City in December at the crowning of Miss South Africa.

Weideman said in the documents, Hofmeyr "spilled a cup of tea over my upper body and head on purpose".

"This action involves an assault on me and is therefore unlawful. As a result of Mr Hofmeyr's assault, my good name was injured, and I was insulted and psychologically disadvantaged due to the emotional shock of the assault."

'Evil editor'

The assault took place during a public event and in front of members of the public, among whom were colleagues and friends of Weideman's, said the documents.

She claims damages of R150 000 for this incident.

Regarding the defamation, the court documents refer to several entries on Hofmeyr's website that has "a considerable reading public and which is read by people from across the country".

Some of the entries referred to in the court documents, are those in which Hofmeyr called Weideman a worm, accused her of hiding behind women's rights and thereby embarrassing women and claiming that she fed her readers "crap".

More defamatory entries referred to her as an "evil editor" and, "She fakes love for her readers by looking down on them and ordering people around like a god. She prides herself on this.

'Ruining people's lives'

"If it is your job to ruin other people's lives, then you will get your pound of flesh in time."

These comments were according to Weideman's court documents, "defamatory in their ordinary meaning" and had been published to convey certain perceptions about her to readers.

Readers would "realise" that Weideman was dishonest, an embarrassment and an evil person, someone who misled people, ruined lives and was high and mighty.

For this defamation, Weideman claimed R110 000 from Hofmeyr.

The documents give him ten days to inform the high court whether he will oppose the claim and he has 20 days to hand his documents in at court.

Hofmeyr on enquiry confirmed his lawyers had received the summons. He would not comment except to say that he would "definitely" fight the claim.

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