Dit word aan die hand gedoen dat die langverwagte ondernemingsreddingprosedure wel uit die wegspringblokke gekom het, maar dat dit met stampe en stote gepaard gegaan het, soos hierbo aangedui is



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2 Comment Versus Fact

Whether a statement amounts to an expression of opinion or a statement of fact has been the pivot on which many a defamation case has hinged (see cases cited in Brand LAWSA (ed Joubert) 7 (2005) (par 253). This was incidentally also the case in the first judgment that "firmly authenticated" the defence of fair comment in South African law (par 81), Crawford v Albu 1917 AD 102.
In the McBride matter this issue did not arise except insofar as the defendants sought to introduce the distinction in argument before the SCA as an alternative argument to the one asserting that McBride is a "murderer" as a matter of fact. Whether or not a person remains a murderer and may accurately be branded as such after having received amnesty was central to the issues before the court. The alternative argument before the SCA went something like this: If the court finds that McBride is no longer a murderer by virtue of having received amnesty, then the Citizen's description of him as a "murderer" constitute a statement of opinion, based on the facts leading to McBride's conviction on several charges of murder. In other words, that McBride may still be viewed as a murderer as a matter of opinion notwithstanding his amnesty. (The Citizen 1978 (Pty) Ltd v McBride 2010 4 SA 148 (SCA) par 37).
This argument was rejected by the SCA as not having been pleaded, and was abandoned before the Constitutional Court (par 35), thus removing any substantial comment versusfact debate in this matter


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