Karasburg councillor sues for defamation

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Karasburg

Karasburg local authority councillor Dennis Coetzee is suing a Karasburg resident for N$25 000 for defamation of character.

This comes after an article titled “Favouritism mars allocation of business units” appeared in New Era on April 29 2015.

A letter issued to the respondent Jacobus Basson by Coetzee’s lawyers Lentin, Botma and Van Den Heever dated July 8, of which New Era has seen a copy, indicates that Basson is being sued for making unfounded, malicious and defamatory allegations concerning their client.

The letter further says that because of what Basson said in the article, he was understood to mean and say to the general public that the councillor is corrupt, acts in conflict of interest in his duties as councillor, has no moral fibre, is not worthy of holding the position of councillor and allocated business units to his friends.

“In publishing the said words you have injured our client in his good name, fame and dignity,” reads the letter.

According to the letter, Basson should fork out N$25 000 in payment for the damage caused to the councillor’s image and reputation or apologise in the same paper.

The letter puts forward that the amount is to be paid in absence of an apology within two weeks, “unless you apologise in New Era within 14 days from the date of receiving the letter wherein you unreservedly retract your malicious and defamatory allegations”.

Contacted for comment Basson strongly indicated that he has no intention of apologising or paying the money, stating that he did not say anything wrong and the councillor as a leader should be able to take criticism.

“I will not apologise and won’t pay. He can do me a favour and clear his name in the media himself,” he stressed.

Basson added that as a councillor facing scrutiny from the public it should not be an issue and if he can’t handle it he must step down as it shows that he is not a leader.

He further accused the councillor of intimidatory and victimising tactics, saying that he is only doing it to scare people from speaking up when things are not being done right by office-bearers.

Meanwhile Coetzee refused to comment on the matter when he was contacted and referred all the questions to his lawyers. “I’m not talking about that, talk to my lawyers,” he said before hanging up.

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