Charges dropped against UK journalist

2010-07-10 12:10

Charges of attempting to defeat the ends of justice and fraud were

withdrawn against British journalist Simon Wright in a Cape Town World Cup


Instead, as had happened earlier to British World Cup tourist,

Pavlos Joseph, Wright ended up paying a R750 admission of guilt fine for a

technical contravention of the Immigration Act.

The Immigration Act violation related to Wright booking Joseph into

the Bay Hotel in Camps Bay under an assumed name.

Joseph had earlier made headlines for trespassing into the English

team’s change room where he confronted former England captain David Beckham over

the team’s poor performance against Algeria.

At the time that Wright booked Joseph into the hotel, the Sunday

Mirror for whom Wright works, had contacted Joseph for an exclusive story for

which Joseph was to be paid 35 000 pounds (around R400 000).

Wright was anxious to keep Joseph away from other media who also

wanted to interview him.

Joseph also paid a R750 admission of guilt fine for


The court finally convened this afternoon instead of the scheduled


Senior counsel Billy Downer for the State informed Magistrate Joe

Magele about the admission of guilt fine and requested that the charge of

attempting to defeat the ends of justice be “removed from the roll”, which

amounted to the withdrawal of the charge.

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