Noseweek magazine, an independent print publication of 28 years, may soon close its doors due to several reasons including the recent loss of a defamation lawsuit against the magazine.
Martin Welz, the publication’s Editor wrote to subscribers, that whatever the options “Noseweek as a print publication is unlikely to survive”.
Noseweek’s publishers Chaucer Publications and its Editor lost a defamation lawsuit brought on by Leonard Katz, a director of Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs, also known as ENS Africa.
In a 78-page judgement delivered earlier this month, Acting Judge Ncumisa Mayosi ordered the publication to pay R330 000 to Katz plus his legal costs.
“This is one of the highest awards yet made by a South African court for defamation. No costs bills have yet been submitted, but Mr Katz’s are expected to total well in excess of R1 million. We intend applying for leave to appeal, while still considering all our other options-largely dependent on available financial resources,” said Welz.
Welz added that whatever the merits and demerits, it is a sad end to an independent print publication that has “unashamedly taken up the cause of the underdog, spoken truth to power and managed to survive the odds with good humour for 28 years”.
“This was already becoming evident last year when the demands in time, energy and money of conducting the trial with scant resources meant we were only able to publish seven issues in the year. While Covid and the collapsing Post Office played their role,” he said.
Welz added that while a few “vociferous enemies dance with glee” and “bay on social media in condemnation” at the perceived failings of the publication there were some memorable landmarks reached along the way.