Businessman Kenny Kunene has been ordered to remove a sexually explicit video and photographs of an unnamed woman alleged to have had an affair with Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa from his online publication.
On Friday morning, the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg heard that the online publication owned by Kunene had crossed the line in publishing the photographs and videos of the woman without her consent.
The ruling was made following an urgent application by the woman on Monday to interdict the publishing of her videos and photographs.
Kunene's lawyers argued on Wednesday that he published the multimedia to prove the authenticity of the story ran on his site about the deputy president's alleged extra marital affair with a 29-year-old woman.
Judge Raylene Keightley ruled that the online publication should remove private, graphic and/or sexual videos, audio content, or visual presentations from the published video of the unnamed woman.
Freedom of expression
Keightley also ruled that images produced from such videos should be removed, and she also interdicted the duplication, transferring and further publishing of any other videos or photographs of the woman.
"Although the allegations are in the public sphere, the applicant didn't consent to having her intimate personal videos in the public sphere," she said, adding that she was not persuaded by the respondent's case.
She added that the woman's privacy and dignity were not taken into consideration. Kunene has been ordered to pay the legal costs of the case.
Speaking outside court, Kunene said that his legal team may appeal the ruling after studying the judgment. He said that they would abide by the ruling and remove the videos and photographs within the next hour.
"We expected this judgment from her hostility toward our counsel during the proceedings," he said.
Kunene said that he accepted that Keightley had to weigh up the constitutionally guaranteed right of freedom of expression against the right to privacy.
He said that it was an important judgment with regard to the precedent set on media and the privacy of ordinary citizens.
Kunene was happy that his credible online newspaper was allowed to keep the story up, but that they would abide by the order.
"There are over 100 videos and photos that we have, but obviously we have to make sure that we lock them far away because the order has been made that we must never use them and we are going to respect that order," he said.
Ramaphosa lost credibility, says Kunene
Kunene said that Ramaphosa can never speak from a moral standing after soliciting such salacious pictures from the woman.
The woman's attorney, Nomaswazi Maseko, said that they welcomed the judgment and that they were still in consultation with their client regarding the steps going forward.
"There's a violation in terms of the privacy and dignity as well and even though it's alleged that there was a public interest or a public figure associated with her, it's still an allegation at this point," she said.