In dismissing a novice hunter’s defamation case against Cape of Good Hope SPCA Chief Inspector Jaco Pieterse, magistrate Katlego Mokoena opened her judgment citing late rapper AKA’s lyrics about the insatiable need of some to post anything and everything on social media.
The Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court this week dismissed Pastor Mark Le Roux’s defamation case after Pieterse commented on a September 2019 social media post where Le Roux posed with a fresh buck kill behind the steering wheel of his bakkie.
Le Roux captioned the pictures: “Ek het my eerste bok geskiet oor die naweek, in my oorlee Oupa se plasokkies, doodskoot die eerste keer. Veldfokus styl. Is ek nou n ware man? Kry ek skaam dat ek n horing gekry het? Het ek gehuil na my eerste keer? … Die antwoord is nee.” (“I shot my first buck over the weekend in my Grandfathers socks, dead shot the first time field focus style. Am I a man now? Am I ashamed when I got a horn? Did I cry after my first time?... The answer is no.”)
Pieterse directly messaged Le Roux, describing the post about the buck as “sick”.
There was some back and forth between the two, with Pieterse later posting his displeasure, saying: “I generally do not post about hunting but this post hit a nerve. The issue here is that a person will go and make a mockery of a dead animal that he hunted by draping the carcass behind the steering wheel just for an extra added last bit of fun and laughter. Who does this?.... The only conclusion I can make is that a person that acts in this manner clearly has psychological issues and needs urgent intervention.”
Le Roux testified that he deleted his Facebook profile as people were harassing him and he posted a public apology.
Le Roux said that he was part of a research and ethics committee “and his friend saw that post and further he was never asked to do sermons again”, judgement read.
“Social media has cemented itself in our daily lives. Some are moved by the insatiable need to post anything and everything, educate, miseducate and even the negatives are shared. I pause and find this quote/lyrics from a prominent South African rapper relevant and befitting to the case at hand. It reads: ‘Next thing you know your career is over ntwana, over some characters, it’s the juxtaposition of choosing stupidity over intelligence’, Mokoena said, quoting AKA and KO’s Run Jozi.
“When one looks at the said pictures particularly the draping of the carcass behind the wheel a person of ordinary intelligence would not have understood the context of why the plaintiff posted such a grotesque image. It is true he provided an explanation that he sought to depict the PETA shock advertisements however would a first time reader of ordinarily intelligence seeing the plaintiff’s Facebook post have linked the said picture to that of PETA’s shock advertisements? The court does not believe so. It is not only the 2nd Defendant who took offence to the Plaintiff’s post… and as per the said comments there were far worse expletives said in response to the Plaintiff’s post.”
The court found that Pieterse did not act out of malice.
“This is a case of male egos being bruised. The Plaintiff in his endeavour to share his first buck hunting ‘content creation’ experience turned sour and was not well received.”
The court ordered Le Roux to pay costs including that of counsel.
On behalf of Le Roux, Attorney Vincent van Dyk said: “We have consulted with the client and we do believe that the judgment is not right. We will be appealing.”