Defamation: A South African Tale

We’ve all seen headline upon headline on the defamation case between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard that played out in a United States Court recently. And then just as we thought that the verdict had been returned and everything will return to normal news cycles, Amber Heard was back on the news giving a further interview and sparking a debate on whether that constitutes further defamatory statements.

So, what does defamation mean?

Like so many concepts that have a legal implication, it has different definitions and requirements that need to be met depending on where you are (which country you find yourself in).

It is important to note that in South Africa, all people have the right to freedom of speech. However, that right is not unlimited and there are certain instances when an individual’s freedom of speech may be limited to balance another’s right not to have their dignity or reputation harmed.

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