One aspect of the legality surrounding Bonang Matheba’s defamation complaint to podcaster Rea Gopane has been raised. Where does the amount of R500,000 come from?
Bonang sent a legal letter to podcaster Rea Gopane earlier in the week to apologise for his statements that she introduced AKA to cocaine. Gopane made the comments on his podcast channel on YouTube and the two-minute clip in which the accusation was made was widely shared on social media.
The legal letter demanded an apology, a retraction – which was made – and R500,000 in damages within 10 days. Doubts were raised if such a proceedings letter can make such a demand. Attorney Sulandi du Plessis says Bonang’s legal team needs to quantify if there will be income losses due to the allegation.
So will Bonang get the R500,000?
Du Plessis said: “That amount needs to be quantified, she needs to quantify how much she had lost since this allegation was made. Provide evidence of this or how much could be lost.”
She says previous defamation cases and settlements have been for much less. “She is never going to get that amount, it is wishful thinking.”
When Gopane made the apology, Du Plessis says the claim for damages is pushing it. However, the situation may have changed to a certain extent when Gopane tweeted and then deleted what looked be a retraction of his apology. Bonang was made aware of his comment, “it is known”, implying everyone knows the drug allegation is “true”.
Du Plessis says Bonang can instruct her lawyers to file on an urgent basis for an interdict to remove the video post entirely from his channel. Also a motion for a damages claim. Du Plessis adds this is once again up to Bonang to prove the possible losses or loss that has already occurred.
In the world of social media and the internet, nothing is ever “deleted” but Du Plessis says she would have advised her client to ask for the post to be taken down.
If this step is taken and Bonang’s lawyers are successful, the attorney says it does matter to an extent what the occupation of Gopane is. He would need to pay up if the court finds against him and the amount.
The deadline for payment is next Thursday, 27 May. Gopane says he is raising the R500,000 and will be revealing his side of the story soon.
I’m telling everything! Full details! I’m holding nothing back…. just wait for it https://t.co/yokG535YaD
— Rea Gopane ???????? (@reagopane) May 19, 2021