Friday, November 21, 2003

Correction: In my previous entry I said that Ngcuka might have a case for defamation against Maharaj and Shaik. But, reaching into the recesses of my memory (I did delict some time ago) I'm less sure. As far as I remember, the aggrieved party must establish harm to his or her reputation. In Ngcuka's case, however, the allegations made against him are threatening to become laughable. Indeed, far from suffering harm to his reputation, it seems to have been enhanced. And this, I think, means that there would be no claim in the South African law of defamation. Intuitively, however, I feel that Maharaj and Shaik have behaved in such a way that they must incur some form of legal liability, whether it be private or criminal. I'm just not sure what it might be. As for the harm suffered to their reputations, I'm not sure how damaging this will prove in the long-term, given the South African predilection for favouring the underdog (see below). Does this mean these guys are going to get away with it?

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