Organisers fail to gag newspaper

AN ATTEMPT by Miss World Ltd to gag the Mail & Guardian newspaper was defeated in the Johannesburg high court on Saturday, the publication said.

AN ATTEMPT by Miss World Ltd to gag the Mail & Guardian newspaper was defeated in the Johannesburg high court on Saturday, the publication said.

The organisers of the pageant, which took place in Johannesburg on Saturday night, had sought an urgent interdict on Friday night to force the newspaper to remove two stories from its website.

One story contained information that Miss Indonesia was linked to an alleged cult, while the second story dealt with the "ballooning" costs incurred by the city of Johannesburg because of the pageant..

"Counsel for Miss World Ltd argued that the stories would cause irreparable commercial damage to the organisation if a global audience was exposed to them on the day of the pageant," the newspaper said in a statement.

"Judge Mathopo disagreed, repeatedly pointing out that stories concerning the links of Miss Indonesia to the alleged cult had been in the public.

Though argument did not dwell on the merits, the judge could find no problem, either, with the second story complained of," the M&G said.

The case was struck from the roll, awarding costs to the newspaper. - Sapa

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