Common Law in Southern Africa: Conflict of Laws and Torts Precedents

By Peter B. Kutner | Go to book overview

16
PRIVACY

In the United States, but not other common law jurisdictions, "invasion of privacy" is actionable in tort.1 It appears that invasions of privacy are actionable in Southern Africa as an impairment of a person's dignitas. The invasions which are actionable may be those established in American law.2 Few cases are directly in point and only two warrant consideration here. One case involves "appropriation of name or likeness".3 The other involves "publicity given to private life".4

In O'Keeffe v. Argus Printing and Publishing Co. Ltd.5 the plaintiff, a radio announcer and producer, had consented to be photographed at the second defendant's shooting range for the purpose of illustrating a news article in the first defendant's newspaper. The photograph then appeared, with text including the plaintiff's name, in an advertisement of the shooting range, guns and ammunition. The advertisement was placed in the first defendant's newspaper by the second defendant. The text had the instructor correcting the plaintiff's aim of a pistol. She claimed damages for the unauthorised

____________________
1
See Prosser & Keeton, 849-69; Restatement (Second) of Torts, ss. 652A-6521 ( 1977).
2
See generally McQuoid-Mason, The Law of Privacy in South Africa ( 1978).
3
Cf. Restatement (Second) of Torts, s. 652C ( 1977).
4
Cf. Restatement (Second) of Torts, s. 652D ( 1977).
5
1954 ( 3) S.A. 244 (C).

-341-

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