Cecil Motsepe’s counsel, Thembeka Ngcukaitobi, on Monday argued that the conviction should be overturned as the State did not prove any intention on his part to defame a magistrate he had written about, The Star reported on Tuesday.
Ngcukaitobi said Motsepe, as a journalist, had an obligation to keep the public informed.
Last year, Motsepe was convicted of criminal defamation in the Nigel Magistrate’s Court for writing a series of articles about Magistrate Marius Serfontein in 2009.
Motsepe was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment or a R10,000 fine, The Star reported.
According to the Sowetan, Motsepe alleged that Serfontein abused his position to protect a white friend who allegedly had a history of assaulting black workers.
In another article, Motsepe alleged that Serfontein was giving harsher sentences to black people than he did to white people. A charge was laid against Motsepe in 2009.