A partner of mine at Webber Wentzel, Odette Geldenhuys (who works in the pro bono unit) and I recently wrote a piece in the Sunday Times on the unprecedented introduction of a SLAPP defence in a case decided by the Western Cape High Court on 9 February 2021. We act for the six defendants in the case, who are alleging that the case is a classical SLAPP lawsuit. You can read the case here. It has made waves around the country.
Here’s our original piece:
In a groundbreaking judgment, Deputy Judge President Patricia Goliath of the Western Cape High Court recognised that defendants may in principle raise a SLAPP defence in defamation cases. SLAPP stands for Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation; and it refers to meritless or exaggerated lawsuits intended to intimidate civil society advocates, human rights defenders, journalists, academics, individuals and organisations acting in the public interest.