City Pays to Settle Defamation Case

Article excerpt

THE city has forked out R50 000 to settle a defamation case after its "insensitive" former chief financial officer Mike Richardson was sued for calling a property developer a liar.

Richardson left the city last year and was replaced by Kevin Jacoby as the chief financial officer when mayor Patricia de Lille brought in a new management team.

Freedom Front Plus councillor Andre Fourie requested details about the case from De Lille, who confirmed that the city had settled the matter on behalf of Richardson.

The developer, Jacko Maree, had complained to then mayor Helen Zille that he was struggling to get information from the city and had failed several times.

Richardson then wrote an e-mail to Maree telling him to stop spreading lies about city officials.

Maree sued for defamation. He sued for R150 000, but the city settled, paying only a third of that.

De Lille said the settlement of R50 000 plus costs was agreed without admission of liability and purely in the interest of settling the matter and avoiding further litigation. …