News24

Jurie off the hook at last

2010-02-18 23:13

Pretoria - Jenny Liebenberg's R500 000 defamation case against singer Jurie Els was dismissed with costs on Thursday, despite her tearful explanations in the North Gauteng High Court about the steps she had taken to continue with the case.

Liebenberg, the mother of singer Robbie Klay, represented herself in court after she gave her lawyer, Karel Jordt, the boot.

Els and his wife, Hestrie, live in New Zealand, but they have been waiting in South Africa since December 2009 for the hearing to take place.

Return home

The couple will return home at the beginning of March.

Els was found not guilty in the same court in December on charges of indecent assault after Klay alleged that Els had sexually molested him when he was a minor.

Liebenberg's claim originates from comments Els had made in court documents, that she had tried to seduce him, among other things. She claims Els had, in so doing, slandered her.

Liebenberg asked acting Judge Jan Hiemstra on Thursday to postpone the court proceedings.

She had spoken to several lawyers after firing Jordt, but they had declined to accept her case because it had been "very short notice", she said.

'Not a ball game'

Noƫlene Kruger-Heckroodt, on behalf of Els, said the case has been on the court roll since March 2009.

Liebenberg sent a letter to acting Deputy Judge President Willem van der Merwe on February 9 this year in which she accused Jordt of "soliciting clients".

Jordt then sent a letter to Van der Merwe to state his side of the case.

Kruger-Heckroodt said on Thursday that Liebenberg's letter is "largely biased" and Jordt's letter should be accepted by the court.

"Els and his family's life must carry on and he has suffered enough," she said.

Liebenberg must understand that the legal process is not a "ball game", she said.

Chances

Hiemstra told Liebenberg: "You had many chances to do something. You ignored e-mails and telephone calls."

Hiemstra asked her whether she reads her e-mail.

"Sometimes, because I'm not allowed to read private e-mails at work," she answered.

Hiemstra said Liebenberg had never officially placed another lawyer on record after Jordt.

Liebenberg started to cry and said: "I didn't start the case. Jordt approached me."

She said that when she had spoken to another lawyer, she was told that she would have to pay.

Hiemstra said Liebenberg had not followed the court rules and rejected her application.

Liebenberg and Klay, who'd also been in the courtroom, quickly left the building.