South Africa has the world’s most progressive constitution. We’re talking anti-discrimination, gay marriage – the works. Yet, for some reason, a judge in the Rainbow Nation has decided that being portrayed as gay somehow counts as defamation.
You’ll recall that a school deputy principal brought three students to court after the juvenile jokesters fabricated photos of him and another educator in provocatively bent positions.
The principal, Louis Dey, described the situation as “humiliating” and cried to the judge that he was “belittled.” And the judge agreed!
A former Waterkloof High School deputy principal has been awarded R45,000 for defamation after three pupils in 2006 distributed a doctored picture of him masturbating with the principal.
The Pretoria High Court ordered Hennie le Roux, 18, Christiaan Gildenhuys, 19, and Reinhard Janse van Rensburg, 19, to pay Dr Louis Dey the damages because they had humiliated and insulted him.
The picture, which showed two naked men masturbating on a couch next to one another, was doctored to include the faces of Dey and Principle Dr Christoff Becker and was widely distributed among school pupils.
Judge Ben du Plessis said that while the image was obviously fake and amateurish, it suggested that the Dey had low moral values and would make a viewer wonder about his sexual orientation.
This shit makes us sick. Obviously these kids were in the wrong – you shouldn’t be doctoring photos to show someone doing something they didn’t do – but the fact that the judge took Dey’s side only perpetuates ideas that being gay is something to be ashamed of – not the type of lesson a judge should be spreading.