Thursday, February 24, 2011
Judge rules M-Net's Carte Blanche story on Gold Reef City ''blatantly one-sided''; Carte Blanche and broadcaster to appeal.
Although a judge in the South Gauteng High Court has ruled that the investigative magazine Carte Blanche's 2005 insert about alleged negligence at Gold Reef City's theme park was ''blatantly one-sided'', M-Net and Carte Blanche plans to appeal.
In the biggest defamation case in South African history Gold Reef City is claiming R47 million from Carte Blanche and M-Net for the story that alleges rusty, and unsafw steel rails at Gold Reef City's theme park at the time.
Judge Caroline Nicholls ruled that the Carte Blanche story that was broadcast on Sunday, 6 March 2005 was ''blatantly one-sided''. This judgement dealt only with liability, not damages. Judge Caroline Nicholls found that the relevant insert was defamatory but she did not rule on damages, holding that Gold Reef City is entitled to "such damages as they may in due course prove". That stage of the litigation has yet to take place.
''Carte Blanche and M-Net note the judgement and respect the legal process,'' M-Net says in a press release, saying that the show and the pay broadcaster plan to appeal. ''After studying the details of the ruling, we have decided to appeal. We will do so presently.''
Carte Blanche that turned 22 last year and is produced by Combined Artists is South Africa's premier weekly investigative magazine show and has won 126 local and international awards over 23 years of credible and well-done investigative journalism. Carte Blanche has never beofre lost a court case. ''Legal action comes with the territory,'' says M-Net. ''The show provides some of the most valuable journalism in the country and will continue to serve its viewers in this way.