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Jacaranda FM fined for defamation

Gauteng

Johannesburg - Radio station Jacaranda FM has been fined R25 000 for defamatory comments after one of its presenters insinuated that a listener had criminal tendencies, the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA (BCCSA) said on Thursday.

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“The respondent station is fined R25,000, which amount plus VAT must be paid to the registrar of the commission on or before 30

November 2012,” it said in a statement.

Francois Greeff complained to the commission after presenter Robbie Kruse made defamatory remarks about him on-air on September 14, 2012.

Kruse had read an article about Greeff which had been published in the Beeld newspaper that day.

According to the report, Greeff stabbed a Rhodesian Ridgeback dog when it attacked him and two of his small dogs in Pretoria.

After reading the article, the Jacaranda FM presenter said: “Ek sal maar pasop vir daardie Francois Greeff as ek met my Beagle hond stap, hy sal sommer my Beagle met a mes steek.” (I'll beware of that Francois Greef when I walk my Beagle dog, he'll just stab my Beagle with a knife).

“Mr Kruse made several other remarks, which created the impression that I am cruel towards animals and that I roam around the streets of Pretoria randomly attacking dogs,” Greeff said in his complaint to the BCCSA.

“The tribunal held that remarks which were made by a radio presenter implied that the complainant is a person not to be trusted in the light of his having killed a dog,” it said.

The BCCSA said the newspaper report had made it clear that Greeff was acting in self-defence when he stabbed the dog, and that remarks made by the presenter amounted to defamation. - Sapa

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