Security row in court

2017-12-12 13:45

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PMB Security obtained a temporary urgent interdict in the Pietermaritzburg high court on Monday against a Blackridge man to prevent him from spreading allegedly defamatory statements about the company.

In his replying affidavit the resident, Willie Seymour, however, denies that any statements he made were defamatory or were untrue. He also maintains the security company is “not entitled to immunity from criticism”.

The case arose after Seymour called PMB Security on Monday, December 4, asking them to send armed response to a burglary in progress in another road in the area­. According to court documents, the controller who took the call, was “confused” and struggled to assist Seymour.

In her affidavit, the director of PMB Security Mary Ann Jeffrey said he was demanding they dispatch personnel to assist in preventing a burglary at a property “in respect of which there was no contract in place” with PMB Security. It seemed he was well aware of this.

“He adopted an aggressive stance,” she said, stating he would cancel his contract if they failed to do so. Jeffrey alleges that Seymour took it upon himself to post the conversation on WhatsApp and the statements made their way “onto multiple WhatsApp security groups”. They were even mentioned in an article in The Witness.

In his affidavit, Seymour admits he posted the conversations on three Blackridge community group chats “only”, but denies posting them on any policing forums. Seymour said he found the application unnecessary and denied that the call recordings were defamatory.

However, he said he removed all the recordings from social media as soon as he received the notice of the court action.

Seymour said it was unclear to him which of his words were allegedly defamatory of PMB Security and also denied his remarks were untrue.

He said PMB Security’s “right not to have its good name maligned, slandered or defamed” was “not absolute” and that the company was not “entitled to immunity from criticism”.

He said when Jeffreys told him that she intended referring the matter to her attorneys she didn’t threaten to bring an urgent interdict. He assumed she meant that she intended suing him for defamation.

“I shall defend any such action,” he said.

In terms of the interim court order obtained by PMB Security, Seymour is restrained from publishing or sending any defamatory material regarding PMB Security, its management or staff “in any format whatsoever”. He was also ordered to remove any defamatory content regarding the company from social media within 24 hours.

The case returns to court on February 13 next year.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  court case

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