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Court strikes off mayor's R200000 suit

By unknown | Sep 08, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

The Barberton magistrate's court has dismissed with costs the defamation case in which an Mpumalanga mayor was suing a local newspaper.

The newspaper's January and February editions reported on the alleged defrauding of widows in and around Umjindi.

In January this year Umjindi Guardian, a Barberton community newspaper, exposed alleged massive corruption in the Umjindi municipality.

The expose implicated municipal mayor Richard Lukhele and municipal manager Sibongile Mnisi, among others. As a result Lukhele and Mnisi filed defamation suits against the newspaper.

The first, about the January edition, was filed with the Pretoria high court seeking R1million combined damages.

The second concerning the February edition, was filed in the Barberton magistrate's court seeking combined damages of R200000.

But on Thursday the court struck the matter off the roll, saying the accusations of both officials were baseless.

"These suits are nothing but an attempt to silence the media from reporting what is in the best interest of the public," Guardian editor Bheki Mashile said yesterday.


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