Sexual videos in 'Cyril scandal': court to rule

Weekly Xposé: Woman applies for interdict to remove web images

14 September 2017 - 06:58
By Nico Gouws
Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo
Image: Gallo Images Cyril Ramaphosa Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo

Controversial businessman Kenny Kunene's online news website, the Weekly Xposé, is a "tabloid at best".

This is how Judge Raylene Keightley described the website on Wednesday in the Johannesburg High Court.

The website published graphic sexual videos which a woman allegedly sent to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who does not appear in them.

The website blurred out the woman in the videos, but published her name, age and where she lives.

She applied on Monday for an interdict to remove the two videos on the website and prevent further publications in the future.

Advocate Garth Hulley SC, representing Kunene, argued that the videos were in the public interest because the woman was linked to Ramaphosa.

Keightley said the woman was not a celebrity or a public figure.

Hulley argued that without the videos the article "might as well not exist" on a website he says is often deemed as "fake news".

The videos were in the
public interest because the woman is linked to
Cyril Ramaphosa

Keightley said she was concerned the first step was to publish the videos. She argued there might have been motivation for publishing the videos if Ramaphosa and the woman denied the article; the Weekly Xposé first described the contents of the videos; and Ramaphosa and the woman still denied the allegations.

Advocate Tshifhiwa Mabuda, representing the applicant [woman], said publishing the videos was to "embarrass" her.

He said publishing the videos and blurring out the woman's identity was a contradiction, because the article identified her age and where she lived. He said it remained a violation, regardless of how the videos were edited.

Keightley said: "I am sure there is a commercial value in that [publishing the videos]."

Mabuda said Kunene indicated they have "hundreds" of similar videos and argued they must be prevented from being published.

Hulley said they agreed not to publish further videos until Keightley had made her judgment.

Mabuda said the applicant had been approached in public by people she did not know who called her a "porn star".

Sunday Independent editor Steven Motale said he would not back down. He said the newspaper would use "all material in our possession" to continue with stories into Ramaphosa's alleged extramarital affairs.

Motale, Kunene and Kunene's two bodyguards were present in court.

Judgment has been reserved until Friday.