A woman who wanted to be awarded R600,000 in damages over a Facebook post had her application dismissed after the North West High Court in Mafikeng said it had no jurisdiction over the matter.
Lucia Khumagadi Modirapula approached the high court claiming that Pandelani Paul Mbedzi defamed her by posting certain statements on Facebook where it was alleged that she had contributed to the death of her own daughter and accused her of having an affair with a man named Justice.
Modirapula claimed that the statements were wrongful, defamatory and were made with the intention to defame and injure her reputation.
As a result, she claimed an amount of R600,000 for damages for injury to her reputation.
However, there was an issue with the residence of Mbedzi and where Modirapula filed her complaint.
It was discovered that Mbedzi lives in Springs which is within the area of jurisdiction of the Gauteng Division High Court.
Meanwhile, Modirapula claimed that she approached the North West High Court on the basis that she is resident within its area of jurisdiction.
Judge Sandiswa Mfenyana said the court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
She explained that jurisdiction must either be the court in which the cause of action arose, or the court which has geographical jurisdiction over the area in which the defendant resides.
“(If there’s) Absent...allegation that the defendant is (not) ordinarily resident within the jurisdiction of this court, or that the cause of action either wholly, or in part arose within its jurisdiction, this court has no jurisdiction over this matter,” she said.
Therefore, Judge Mfenyana said the application falls to be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
There were no costs ordered.