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High Court Reporter
METRO FM talk show host Criselda Kananda is facing a R300 000 damages claim from a private school – Centurion Akademie – where her daughter was enrolled, following allegations by the school that she badmouthed it in an interview with a Sunday Newspaper.
It is stated in papers before the Pretoria High Court that Kananda, of Graceland Estates in Halfway Gardens, Midrand, had told a Sunday World reporter in April 2009 that the school “falsely represented to her” that its medium of instruction was English.
The school, in its particulars of claim before the court, also said Kananda told the reporter that her daughter failed her first academic terms as a pupil at the school because of the school’s alleged exclusive use of Afrikaans as medium of instruction.
She had also claimed that the school failed to attend to or deal with her complaints and enquiries in this regard, it was stated.
The school said Kananda had accused it of instituting legal action against her without notifying her beforehand.
But the school said this information was printed in the April 12, 2009, edition of the newspaper and also appeared on its internet website.
Kananda’s statements were wrong and defamatory, the school said, as readers would have understood that the school “discriminated against students on the basis of their language”.
Also, that the school “misled students into believing its medium of instruction was English, while it was in fact Afrikaans”.
The school also said that readers would have understood that it provided substandard education to Kananda’s daughter and refused to assist her in English when she asked for help, which resulted in her failing her first term. Kananda knew the newspaper was widely read by the public, it said.
Defending the action, Kananda admitted that the article was published, but she denied wrongdoing.
The matter was postponed indefinitely by Judge Mahomed Ismail.