Pretoria - The woman who claimed she was sexually assaulted by the then Radio 947 hosts DJ Fresh and Euphonik has lost an application to gag them from making defamatory statements against her on social media platforms.
The court found that there was an alternative route to deal with the alleged cyber bullying.
While she instituted the legal action against both DJ Fresh and Euphonik; it appeared that only Euphonik had made the social media postings.
The woman, who cannot be named, also asked the Gauteng High Court, Johannesburg, to order that DJ Euphonik publish an apology on all his social media platforms.
The woman was in the news when in January 2021, she accused the duo, real names Thato Sekwana and Themba Nkosi, of allegedly raping and drugging her 10 years ago.
In a Twitter post, she called for the two to acknowledge that they had raped her, saying she was a virgin at the time.
She said she had to take anxiety medication before she could speak about it on social media.
She opened a case of sexual assault against the pair at the Sunnyside police station in Pretoria in January 2021. These charges were dropped by the NPA on February 15, 2021, due to “insufficient evidence”.
In the latest saga, the woman wanted to interdict the well-known music platform figures from making defamatory statements against her, following a posting on social media in February 2021.
The post had already been removed.
The posting was in reaction to a message she had tweeted at the time in Xhosa, in which she said: “The month of February is so long, it feels like January, I am so broke”.
Of his own volition, DJ Euphonik replied to the applicant’s tweet: “Lol because being a liar and extortionist, a scammer and falsely accusing people you’ve never met isn’t profitable.”
He called on her to “get help”.
In a follow-up tweet he again said the woman should get help and referred to the “damage” she had done.
In his answering affidavit, Nkosi did not deny that he posted the tweets. He merely asserted that his initial tweet was retweeted by 23 people, quoted by 11 people, and liked 74 times.
As regards the tweet containing the WhatsApp screenshot with the applicant’s cellphone number, he contended that the message was only retweeted 77 times and liked 138 times.
The woman said her right to dignity is grounded in the Constitution. It was argued that the tweets by Nkosi consisted of a sustained attack against her dignity.
Acting Judge JJ Strijdom said the suggestion that the applicant is a liar and extortionist harmed her dignity. “In my view the applicant’s reputation has been irreparably harmed,” the judge said.
It was argued on behalf of Nkosi that the woman had another remedy – the Protection of Harassment Act, which affords victims of harassment effective remedies and protection against all forms of harassment including cyber bullying.
It was in turn submitted by the applicant that the act is not an adequate tool for dealing with character claims and as such, it was contended that she did not have any alternative remedy.
“I disagree with this submission,” the judge said. He commented that the act provides that a person can apply for a protection order against harassment at their nearest magistrate’s court.
“The applicant has not established the requirement of lack of an adequate alternative remedy,” the judge said in dismissing her application with costs.