Johannesburg - The SA Sports Confederation
and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) has instituted a defamation claim of R21.1
million against sports journalist Graeme Joffe in the High Court in
Johannesburg, Beeld reported on Friday.
The court documents, filed
on July 3, argued that 23 of Joffe's sports columns, written for, among others,
Media24, were defamatory, and that Joffe had accused the organisation of
unethical and illegal conduct.
According to the court
papers, Joffe wrote that Sascoc had behaved "contrary to the interest of
South Africa, engaged in corrupt activities, and wasted money".
Eight of Sascoc's board
members, including the organisation's president Gideon Sam, and chief executive
Tubby Reddy, lodged the claim.
The plaintiffs said they
would argue in court that what Joffe wrote was inaccurate and that he intended
to harm their reputation.
The eight had also demanded
that Joffe withdraw his statements and apologise.
Joffe said in response that
as a sports journalist, he had an obligation to tell the truth about Sascoc,
that the organisation bullied many people, and that this was in all likelihood
an attempt to silence him.
"I will definitely
oppose the claim."
He stood by everything he
had written, and he had all the facts to substantiate his claims, Joffe said.