Noseweek could shut down after losing defamation case
The investigative magazine Noseweek is unlikely survive in its current format as a print publication following a court ruling ordering it must pay R330 000 plus legal costs to a senior attorney at law firm Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs (ENS).
In late April, the magazine lost a defamation case in the Western Cape High Court brought against it by Leonard Katz, a director ENS.
Acting Judge Ncumisa Mayosi ruled that an editorial and an article published in the magazine's July 2014 edition were defamatory against Katz, in which the magazine made allegations about the complainant's conduct in liquidation cases.
Noseweek refused to retract these accusations following a request by Katz, after which the complainant instituted a case of defamation against the editor and publisher.
Noseweek's editor Martin Welz and the publication's owner and publisher, Chaucer Publications, were ordered to pay R330 000 in damages, plus Katz's legal costs.
Speaking on the CapeTalk Afternoon Drive show, Welz says Noseweek might continue online, but as a print publication it was 'unlikely to survive.'
We've been so involved in this case. It's been so time and energy consuming that last year we were only were able to produce seven of the normal twelve issues. If we are going to have to raise that sort of funding, which we don't have, it's going to be pretty time consuming and energy consuming.Martin Welz - Noseweek editor
Welz confirmed that Noseweek intended to appeal the findings.
We are contemplating lodging an application for leave to appeal. The lawyers are still working on what is worth appealing and what isn't.Martin Welz - Noseweek editor
We're all running at a loss. To produce a printed magazine, and maybe to distribute it is a logistic nightmare. The post office doesn't function properly. You have to work out all sorts of alternatives, delivery plans which are too costly.Martin Welz - Noseweek editor
Listen to the audio of the interview below