JOHANNESBURG, July 19 – SASCOC has welcomed the request by lawyers for Graeme Joffe for a settlement in the long-standing legal case.
Hollard Insurance, who is proving insurance cover for Joffe, proposed a settlement whereby Joffe will pay SASCOC R1.3 million. SASCOC has agreed to the terms of the offer.
The settlement offer is a clear indication that, despite Joffe’s numerous allegations and challenges to SASCOC, he was unable to substantiate or provide evidence that would have stood up in court. Hence the offer to settle is an acceptance of his misconduct.
In July 2013 SASCOC launched a defamation claim against sports journalist Joffe. The claim was instituted due to a series of online articles and a tweet published by Joffe concerning SASCOC and its board members, which SASCOC viewed as unjustified and defamatory.
In March 2015, rather than provide a substantive justification for his writings, Joffe introduced 131 technical objections to the claim. The Court dismissed each and every one of these objections with the costs of two counsels.
In passing judgment at that time, High Court Judge, J Francis said that he found it “rather disturbing that the defendant having admitted that the particulars of claim have all been pleaded following the usual precedents for pleading defamation actions, still persisted with the exceptions.”
Judge Francis added that “this is clear a waste of court time and resources. The exceptions raised by the defendant are the worst form of nit picking that I have come across in my thirteen years on the bench.”
In May 2015, the Taxing Master ordered Joffe to pay SASCOC costs amounting to R126 991.95.
In May 2017 a settlement agreement was concluded between SASCOC and Joffe. In terms of the settlement agreement, SASCOC was paid an amount of R1.3 million in settlement of the action against Joffe, in addition to SASCOC’s legal costs incurred in the case.
Following receipt of the settlement amount, SASCOC withdrew the action against Joffe on July6.