Klofies regret Dey's media comments

Johannesburg - Three former Waterkloof schoolboys who lost a defamation case after distributing a manipulated picture of their principals, "regretted" comments in the media by one of the principals about their parents.

Christiaan Gildenhuys, 22, said in a statement on Friday: "We regret the recent reports in the media in which Dr (Louis) Dey is quoted as referring to our parents as 'bullies' (bullebakke) and 'arrogant'.

"Our parents were never a party to this dispute; nor are we able to find any basis whatsoever for them to deserve such labels."

Gildenhuys said their parents had been supportive throughout the "financially burdensome" dispute.

The Constitutional Court has ordered Gildenhuys, along with Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg, 22, and Hennie le Roux, 20, to pay R25 000 compensation to Dey.

They pasted face pictures of their principal and deputy principal on an image of two gay bodybuilders in 2006.

Le Roux cobbled the picture together on his computer, pasting the school's crest over their genitals, and sent it to a friend via cellphone.

It was then passed on to Gildenhuys and printed out. Van Rensburg pinned it to the school notice board. A teacher pointed this out to Dey, who took offence.

Dey sued for damages for defamation and injury to his feelings.

The former pupils had approached the court to challenge the R45 000 damages awarded to Dey by the North Gauteng High Court and Supreme Court of Appeals.

The three said they were not disappointed by the Constitutional Court's judgment.

"The court has made important pronouncements on the rights of children," Gildenhuys said.

"In particular, it has held that where the speaker is a child, a court must consider this in its assessment of damages in a defamation action."

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