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Another gag order against Ntsiki Mazwai


Poet Ntsiki Mazwai has been ordered to pay DJ Euphonik’s legal fees after he was granted a gag order against her in the Johannesburg High Court on Thursday.

Judge Denise Fisher found that Mazwai’s comments – which were made on her Twitter page in March last year in relation to a case involving Euphonik, whose given name is Themba Nkosi, and Thato “DJ Fresh” Sikwane – were defamatory.DJ Euphonik DJ Themba Nkosi also known as Euphonik.

Mazwai was dragged to court by Sikwane and Nkosi on separate matters after they made headlines last year when a woman from Pretoria opened a case of sexual assault against them at the Sunnyside Police Station. The woman alleged that the two DJs, who were let go from their radio shows by Primedia amid the allegations, had forced themselves on her more than 10 years ago.

Nkosi applied for a court order to stop the U’wrongo hitmaker from making further comments about him on social media last year after she posted messages alluding to him as a rapist, among other things.

Fisher said that, even though Mazwai had not mentioned Nkosi by name in her posts, any well-minded reader could tell that she was referring to the musician. While it appears that the respondent has purposefully attempted to avoid directly naming the applicant, the only reasonable inference to be drawn from her various posts is that her comments/statements are directed at him [Nkosi].

“Any person who has substantial social media following and who is able, as a consequence thereof, to reach out to and influence a large community of people, as the respondent is able to do, is required to ensure that they exercise temperance and responsibility in the dissemination of public posts. More importantly, the respondent ought to ensure that her public statements are based and founded in truth and in fact,” Fisher’s judgment reads.

In March last year, Mazwai retweeted a message posted by an entity with the Twitter handle @WomenForChange.

The original tweet urged other DJs not to perform with Nkosi to “show every survivor of gender-based violence their respect and support”. The tweet included the hashtag #MuteEuphonik.

On the same day, Mazwai posted on Twitter: “If you want to see the other rapists, watch who is rallying behind other rapists … When DJs put each other on line-ups, it’s like an invitation to rape the groupies party.

She was then asked about her thoughts about DJ Black Coffee booking Nkosi in the line-up for his birthday party, to which she retweeted a post that read: “Birds of a feather flock together.”

This was allegedly a reference to allegations contained in the divorce proceedings between Black Coffee, whose given name is Nkosinathi Maphumulo, and Enhle Mbali Mlotshwa, in which there were claims that he had physically abused his wife.

Fisher added: “What one observes here is a garnering by the respondent of resources in the form of her influence in the public media to create a string of posts which, when read together, reveal that she is spreading a rumour to the effect that the applicant is a sexual predator and, as such, should be muted in the industry and not allowed to appear on line-ups for music events.

“The test for determining whether the words in respect of which there is a complaint have a defamatory meaning is whether a reasonable person of ordinary intelligence might reasonably understand the words concerned to convey a meaning defamatory of the litigant concerned.”

The judge said Mazwai failed to prove that her statement was not defamatory.

“The respondent denies that the tweets are defamatory. They do, however, speak for themselves and this contention is rejected. Counsel for the respondent was unable to tender any alternative and non-defamatory meaning [regarding] the tweets.”

Mazwai made similar comments about Sikwane last year and he also obtained a gag order against her, which was granted with costs that amounted to R200 000.

Fisher said Mazwai declined an opportunity to stop the matter from going to court.

“She was also afforded an opportunity by the applicant’s attorneys to redress and cease her conduct prior to the launching of the application. She stubbornly elected not to do so and rather has proceeded to defend the matter. It is clear that she doggedly defends her position without any cogent basis. Her behaviour in relation to this litigation borders on the contemptuous.”

Mazwai was ordered to pay the former radio host’s legal fees, which will be determined by his attorneys “on the scale between attorney and client”.

City Press

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