defamation

Libel case fails: court finds election was at stake and media had ‘duty to publish’

Issues around elections continue to be heard by the courts. This time the case concerned a scandal that was brewing in 2002, about the malfunctioning IT system that was supposed to compile a national voters’ register for Uganda’s then pending election. Members of the consortium that seemed unable to sort out the register brought a defamation action against the publication that broke the story. But the court found the report was truthful and accurate and that the public needed to know the information as the success of the election was at stake.

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A prominent businessman from Kampala and a company he founded have failed in their attempt to sue The East African newspaper over a 2002 article related to preparations for the then-pending Ugandan elections.

‘Demeaning’ to portray counsellor as HIV-positive sex worker? – court rules

A specialised network of organisations responding to the issues of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis in Kenya has come in for some unwelcome publicity. This after it used a photograph of one of its own staff on its website, with a caption that identified her as "an HIV positive sex worker waiting for treatment". The staffer in the photograph was awarded damages by Kenya's HIV/AIDS tribunal, but her employers appealed. They argued that it was not "demeaning" to say someone was a sex worker nor was she defamed when it was said of her that she was HIV positive.

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Though the world is moving towards de-stigmatising HIV/AIDS, it is still not difficult to imagine a court awarding damages to someone who is publicly – but either without their permission or else incorrectly – said to be living with the condition.

It’s surely even more likely to result in damages when someone is, completely wrongly, identified in a caption with her photograph as “an HIV positive sex worker” waiting at a clinic to be attended.

Namibia’s retired Judge Pio Teek and his daughter lose defamation claim bid

FORMER Namibian supreme court judge, Pio Teek, has featured in judicial decisions more than once over the last weeks. Most significantly, the Supreme Court has confirmed the retired judge’s high court acquittal as pronounced at the end of his trial for sexual offences in relation to two young girls (see separate story below). The court strongly criticised the police investigation and other aspects of the way the state presented its case.

Read the judgment here on NamibLII

 

THE fishing fight involving former Judge Pio Teek dates back more than a decade to the establishment of a company called Old Man Fishing CC. This CC was specially set up to ensure that its members would benefit from a new scheme, announced by Namibia’s ministry of fisheries and marine resources, in terms of which fishing rights would be awarded to companies at least partly owned by black Namibians.

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