The EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters) has welcomed a recent judgment by the Gauteng High Court, which found a Daily Sun report accusing party MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi of rape to be “unlawful and defamatory”. The report, published in April 2021, alleged Ndlozi’s involvement in a rape case and was disseminated through both print and digital media platforms.
According to Judge Stuart David James Wilson, the publication must remove the “unlawful and defamatory statements from all its media platforms, including its website, Twitter account, and Facebook account within one week of the date of this order.” The judge expressed concern that the article interfered with ongoing investigations.
For Ndlozi and the EFF, the accusations caused significant harm to his reputation. The party described the court’s findings as “damning,” highlighting the fact that the Daily Sun published a rape complaint even before the police had the opportunity to present the case to the alleged perpetrator. This judgment is considered a significant victory for gender-based violence (GBV) cases and investigations into GBV-related crimes.
While Ndlozi sought R120,000 in damages, the court is yet to rule on this matter. However, it did order Media24, the publisher of Daily Sun, to cover the costs.
The EFF emphasized the importance of this ruling for the victims of GBV, particularly women. The party previously provided evidence that there was no verifiable possibility that Ndlozi was present at the location of the incident in question.
In response to the judgment, the EFF called on Media24 to comply immediately and issued a public apology of equal magnitude to the defamatory statements. They also urged the publisher to pay damages and commit to responsible journalism.
However, the party also stressed the need to avoid weaponizing this judgment to discredit genuine victims of rape and GBV. It called for society to unite in the fight against GBV, while also emphasizing the importance of the media operating with integrity, thorough research, and verification to prevent the malicious destruction of individuals’ reputations in pursuit of sales, profits, and breaking news.
EFF Welcomes Gauteng High Court Judgment That Media24’s Daily Sun Published Unlawful And Defamatory Statements Against Dr. Ndlozi pic.twitter.com/wDlUWXFfPn
— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) September 20, 2023