A Centurion businessperson is suing his neighbour for R1.3 million after she allegedly started a smear campaign against him on Facebook because he complained about her “noisy chickens and smelly rabbits”.
Paul Hechter, who owns two beauty salons with his brother in the Midstream estate, in February obtained an urgent interdict against his neighbour, Michelle Benade, to stop her from continuing the campaign against him and to publish a retraction and apology to him.
He is now claiming R1.3 million in damages from her in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria for impairing his dignity and damaging his reputation.
Hechter said in court papers that Benade used Facebook as a weapon to run a smear campaign. TV personality Amor Vittone was also in the process of taking legal action against Benade for defaming her.
He said his problems started when he complained to Benade’s husband about their noisy chickens. After getting rid of the chickens, she then allegedly started keeping about 60 rabbits in dirty cages.
Hechter complained to the body corporate, which fined Benade R3 000 after she released the rabbits in the parks in the estate. She thereafter put a photo of him on Facebook and falsely accused him of being a Peeping Tom and paedophile. He said her false and malicious posts caused an outcry and a lot of people condemned him for no valid reason.
The case continues.