Magda Wierzycka files R10m defamation lawsuit against IOL, Independent Media

Magda Wierzycka. Photo: Netwerk24
Magda Wierzycka. Photo: Netwerk24
  • Sygnia CEO, Magda Wierzycka has filed a R10 million lawsuit against IOL, Independent Media as well as business journalist Adri Senekal De Wet.
  • In court papers, Wierzycka says an article published by Independent Media defames her personally and professionally. 
  • Independent Media says it is looking forward to seeing Wierzycka in court.

Magda Wierzycka, CEO of JSE listed company Sygnia, has filed a defamation lawsuit for an article published on IOL which, she says, attacks her personally and professionally.

Included in the lawsuit is Independent Online, Independent Media and the author of the article, Adri Senekal De Wet.

According to Wierzycka, the article, published on 18 May 2020 entitled "Magda Wierzycka should mind her own dirty laundry before launching dirty tricks" makes various false character judgments and accusations against her.

READ | Independent Media ordered to remove defamatory articles, pay R300 000 in damages

According to court papers, Wierzycka says the article is defamatory because it paints her as "dishonest" and "not a fit and proper person to occupy the position of [CEO] of the second plaintiff, or any other company".

She says the article alleges that she "promoted, and continues to promote, the interests of the second plaintiff in a manner that is dishonest, and with the intention to mislead the general public" and "is of low moral character by engaging in an extra-marital affair".

Wierzycka is suing for R10 million which, she said, will be donated to charity.

She also wanted the article to be taken down.

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This is the third defamation lawsuit Wierzycka has filed against the company and Iqbal Surve, chairperson of Independent Media and Sekunjalo Investments.

Takudzwa Hove, COO of Independent Media, told News24 they had not yet received the court papers but that Independent Media, IOL and Senekal De Wet "will defend the suit and are confident the courts will find no merit in the suit brought against us".

"Independent Media stands by its journalists and by what has been published," Hove said.

According to Hove, the lawsuit is an attempt by Wierzycka to deflect attention and prevent the publication from writing about her.

"It is a media's inalienable right to report on the news and share information that is considered in the public interest. This, we believe, has been done with the information we published.

"We therefore look forward to meeting Ms Wiercycka in court to prove there is freedom of media in this country and that what was published was and is, correct," said Hove.

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