defamation

Namibia’s apex court confirms new trend in media freedom cases

In a new judgment of extraordinary importance for freedom of expression and media freedom in Namibia, that country’s highest court has confirmed the development of the common law to give greater protection to the Namibian media so that, as the court put it, its ‘important democratic role of providing information to the public is not imperilled by the risk of defamation claims.’

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This new judgment illustrates how Namibia’s highest court is determined to protect media freedom, given its constitutional importance in that country. But behind the theoretical questions lie contested facts concerning the fate of three elephants, and a defamation case against the Namibian Sun, arising out of this dispute.

Court orders unusually high damages for defamatory allegations made against Namibia’s First Lady

An opposition political party figure in Namibia has been found to have defamed the wife of the President, Hage Geingob, and was ordered to pay damages at a very significant level to First Lady, Monica Geingos. The high court found that Abed-Nego Hishoono had actually intended to target Geingob with his defamatory social media claims and that Hishoono’s claims that he merely repeated rumours already circulating about Geingos did not lessen the seriousness of his actions.

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Abed-Nego Hishoono may be a teacher and an office bearer of the Namibian political party, Independent Patriots for Change, but he didn’t know one of the most basic lessons of using social media until it was too late.

Media reports of unlawful home ‘invasion’ by private investigators amount to defamation – Eswatini supreme court

The Supreme Court of Eswatini has delivered judgment in a most extraordinary defamation case. It concerns the raid on a private home by operatives of a firm of private investigators. They broke into the house where they found a couple asleep, naked, in bed. Then they took distasteful photographs and video as the two people tried desperately to cover themselves. The firm said that they had been hired by the then minister of justice, who was, at the time, involved in a dispute with the man of the couple.


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It is difficult to decide what is the most shocking element of this story. Each new paragraph seems to show another, more alarming, piece of the picture.

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