The Gold Reef City theme park in Johannesburg has won a defamation case against current affairs show Carte Blanche, reports said on Thursday.
The South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg ruled on Wednesday that a Carte Blanche report in 2005, which questioned the safety of its rides, was defamatory.
Judge Caroline Nicholls ruled that the programme, which was broadcast in March 2005, was “blatantly one-sided”, the City Press reported on its website.
Gold Reef City was claiming R47-million in damages — R43,1-million in lost revenue for the theme park as a result of the bad publicity, another R3,66-million in lost revenue for the casino, and R200 000 in general damages.
Nicholls ruled that Gold Reef City was entitled to any losses that it could prove to the court.
If the entire R47-million gets awarded by the court, it would be one of the biggest defamation cases in South Africa’s legal history.
Nicholls also ordered the show to pay the legal costs of the case.
Carte Blanche based its show on claims by technician Paul Boshoff that some of the park’s steel fun rides were unsafe. It had argued that the broadcast was based on the truth and in the public’s interest.
Gold Reef City manager Joan Goosen told Beeld that its legal advisers were in the process of studying the judgement.
Carte Blanche executive producer and director George Mazarakis said: “We will study the judgement and decide if we will appeal.” — Sapa