BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
A South African court has ordered a Zimbabwean social media troll to retract defamatory statements he published online against United Family International Church (UFIC) leader Emmanuel Makandiwa’s pastor.
Makandiwa’s pastor, Donald Mhandu, who is the applicant, approached the Gauteng High Court on November 9, seeking an interdict to bar Tinashe Exevier Mutamiri, a Zimbabwean based in South Africa, from repeating the defamatory statements he published against him on social media.
Through his lawyer Henk Horn, Mhandu sought an order to compel Mutamiri to delete the defamatory posts on Facebook and other social media platforms.
Mhandu approached the court after Mutamiri posted a video on his Facebook page and other social media platforms accusing him of aiding Makandiwa to allegedly kill people within the church, who are opposed to the UFIC founder.
He filed for an interdict pending an application for final interdictory relief he will launch within 30 days of the order.
Judge Justice Neukircher granted Mhandu’s application and ordered Mutamiri to remove all the videos he posted against the pastor and also to delete all the comments made in response to his posts by November 18, 2021.
Mutamiri was also ordered to retract his statements and apologise to Mhandu in a video, which he should post on the same social media platform he used while defaming him.
“The respondent is ordered to forthwith remove and delete any and all posts whatsoever that have been published by the respondent on the Internet and to remove and delete all and any posts and comments made in response thereto in so far as it is within their power to do so by 18 November 2021,” the judge said in her statement.
The respondent is ordered to make and publish an appropriate retraction video, and an appropriate apology, mentioning the applicant by name, for defaming him and injuring his dignity on all the same social media platforms.”
The apology should be issued with the same prominence in which the defamatory videos were made, Justice Neukircher ruled.
Mutamiri was also ordered to pay the costs of the application on the scale as between attorney and own client.
Mhandu yesterday said: “I made a court application in order to give Tinashe an opportunity to make and prove his allegations in court and on record since he purports to be doing his social media posts for the public good.
“I believe there is no other credible platform on which he could have made those allegations than a court of law.
“The allegations he made on me and my spiritual father, Prophet Makandiwa, are so grave that they have potential to not only soil our good reputation as Men of God, but to also cast aspersions on the entire body of Christ.
“I don’t know why he chose to be in contempt of court.”