Essay On Criminal Defamation

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this crime are deliberate action, unlawfulness and the publication of a disparaging commentary. Defamatory material is that which is likely to subject a person to animosity, derision, mockery or belittle the person in the eyes of others.
While the court in R v Fuleza 1951 1 SA 519 (A) resolved ambiguity by confirming the criminality of defamation, doubt continued regarding the existence of this crime in South African law because redress for defamation was prevalently pursued in civil courts.
In S v Hoho 2009 (1) SACR 276 (SCA) (hereinafter referred to as Hoho) the court affirmed the existence of criminal defamation. The court ruled that while the prosecution for criminal defamation was not limited to significant defamatory acts, sentencing would reflect the degree of the significance thereof. The court pronounced that criminal defamation meets the constitutional standard; clarifying that the centrality of the right to freedom of
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The plaintiff must furthermore employ this standard to establish that the defamatory material relates to his reputation and not that of another. A presumption of wrongfulness ensues. In refutation of this presumption, the defendant may assert justifications similar to those listed in the context of criminal defamation.
Intention on the part of the defendant, alleged but not proven by the plaintiff, requires both deliberate action and cognizance of the wrongfulness thereof. Publication of defamatory material leads to a presumption of deliberate action by the defendant which the defendant may refute by establishing mistake or jest. However in National Media Ltd v Bogoshi 1998 4 SA 1196 (SCA) the court decided that negligence, rather than intention, is sufficient when the members of the mass media publish defamatory

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