Judgement reserved in journalist case

Picture: Thinkstock

Picture: Thinkstock

The High Court in Pretoria has reserved judgment in an appeal by a former Sowetan journalist over his conviction for criminal defamation.

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.


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