Judge bans tweeting during Koch case
Johannesburg - Tweeting and live broadcasts from inside court were prohibited by the magistrate hearing the case between Conrad Koch and Steve Hofmeyr in the Randburg Magistrate's Court in Johannesburg on Thursday.
Magistrate Naren Sewnarain made this ruling in response to a media application to broadcast proceedings between ventriloquist and puppeteer Koch and Afrikaans singer Hofmeyr, according to a Sapa reporter filing from outside the court.
The case turns on an interim order Hofmeyr secured on November 10 after Koch responded on Twitter to one of his tweets.
Koch, who is known for his satirical interviews with politicians through his puppet “Chester Missing”, is opposing the order being made final.
Hofmeyr said in a tweet on October 23: “Sorry to offend but in my books blacks were the architects of apartheid. Go figure.”
In response, Koch penned a column published by The Times titled “Dear white supremacists...” and asked why sponsors associated with Hofmeyr, such as Land Rover and Pick n Pay, were still sponsoring him.
During a Twitter war on the subject Hofmeyr secured the interim order which prevents Koch from threatening, harassing, or making defamatory statements against him.
He was also not allowed to tag him on social media websites like Twitter or mention him in television and radio interviews.
Hofmeyr said that until Koch explained the “hate speech” in court on Thursday, the ventriloquist was not allowed to contact him, his sponsors or his business partners directly or indirectly, said Beeld newspaper.
Hofmeyr recently had a sponsored bakkie withdrawn by Williams Hunt in Port Elizabeth after the tweet.