'Fashion victim' takes Noseweek to court
Johannesburg - The owner of a fashion company launched an application in the High Court in Cape Town on Friday to compel the controversial Noseweek magazine to retract an online article.
In papers filed with the court, Inge Peacock, owner of the fashion concern, Lulu Tan Tan, said the article, entitled "Fashion Victim", was "highly defamatory" and would "ruin her reputation".
She had been swamped with telephone calls from people expressing their shock. The calls humiliated her, Peacock said.
The article infringed on her constitutional right to security of person, to be free from all forms of violence, from either public or private sources, and not to be treated in a degrading manner, she said.
Although the magazine was already on sale country wide, Peacock wanted the article pulled to prevent further circulation in March and limit the damage to her good name.
It had the potential to wreck her business, which she built up over 25 years. If this happened the consequences for her family and social standing would be severe, Peacock claimed.
She said she had tried everything possible to halt the unlawful article, but Noseweek editor Martin Welz had ignored her attempts to have the article removed.
She claimed the article stated untruthfully that "while major stores bankroll Peacock's wealthy lifestyle, she chooses to settle her own accounts only when she pleases".
Welz countered that the article was "substantially true" and a matter of public interest to Noseweek readers, who were predominantly members of the business community. The readers were interested in business ethics, transparency and straight dealing, he said.
Judge Andre le Grange was expected to rule on the matter on Tuesday.