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War of words heads to court

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ANC Councillor Shaine Griqua and Moira Mcgluwa will be their own legal representatives when they defend themselves in court following a war on social media with the DA provincial leader's wife.

WAR OF WORDS: Shaine Griqua and Moira Mcgluwa outside the municipal building ahead of a court battle over a defamatory war of words between them and the wife of the provincial DA leader, Mariam Louw.

ANC COUNCILLOR Shaine Griqua and Moira Mcgluwa will be their own legal representatives when they defend themselves in court following a war of words that erupted on social media over posts involving the wife of DA provincial leader Andrew Louw – Mariam Louw.

The matter is heading to court next week, where DA councillor and assistant manager at Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital Mariam Louw has applied for an urgent interdict to “immediately remove all references made against her” on Facebook, social media, web pages, websites or any online platform.

She is also demanding that Griqua and Mcgluwa apologise on the Facebook sites where “defamatory posts” were made against her and that they pay the legal costs.

The angry exchange started after two other DA members opened a case of assault and two cases of crimen injuria against Mariam following an incident that took place on a bus en route to attend a course at the University of Fort Hare on August 24, after which comments and posts were made on social media.

Mariam in turn opened a charge after she was allegedly threatened with a knife during the same incident.

Griqua approached the Equality Court after he alleged that Mariam had called him a “man/woman; man/mam” and he felt that his rights were violated based on his sexual orientation.

Mariam in turn intends charging Griqua for crimen injuria for allegedly uttering “vulgar and/or defamatory words” against her.

In court documents Mariam indicates that defamatory posts were made by Griqua on his personal Facebook page which were liked, commented on and viewed by 1 176 followers.

The posts in question read: “Mirriam. Lieg Hoeka en like. Die victim. Speel. Ha einde is naby as ‘* raadslid die wiel. Draai sy sal nie die termyn klaar maak nie want Sy is ‘* rassis en sy regeer die mense se lewe Sy is ‘* valse mens Sy het ‘* inferior feeling war ha control Sy is baie demonic Sy was seke ge-abuse toe sy klein was shame” (Mirriam lies and likes to play the victim. She is nearing the end of her term as a councillor. She is a racist and likes to rule other people’s lives. She is false She has an inferior complex She is demonic . She was probably abused when she was growing up, shame).

Mariam believes that the posting, content and context was “defamatory, vexatious and devoid of truth”, was “not in the public interest”, constitutes hate speech and contains “several clear threats”.

She stated that her rights to privacy had been infringed and her good name and reputation had been tarnished, while the posts placed her employer in a bad light.

“(If the posts are not removed) I have a reasonable apprehension that further harm will be caused to my dignity and future political career and interest.”

Lawyer’s letters were sent to both Griqua and Mcgluwa on August 28, instructing them to remove their posts and comments relating to Mariam within 12 hours. They are still refusing to comply.

The matter was removed from the Northern Cape High Court court roll yesterday as Griqua had not been served with a copy of the notice of motion.

The legal representative for Mariam Louw, Jannie Keyl from Lovius Block Attorneys in Bloemfontein, said the matter would be heard next week.

“Griqua and Mcgluwa have been given time to file answering affidavits after which the matter will proceed in court,” he stated.