SLAPP Suits in South Africa
The Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW) has lodged a notice of intention to defend a strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) brought against the organisation by a Canadian mining company, First Quantum Minerals (FQM) at the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.
SLAPP suit against whistle-blower
The Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) is representing an anti-corruption activist in a SLAPP suit. CALS have argued that the case is an example of a SLAPP suit, or “the kind of meritless lawsuit used around the world by the powerful in an attempt to intimidate and silence their critics and prevent them from defending their human rights and those of their communities.”
SLAPP case law and articles
This case involved a prodigious damages claim based on alleged defamation by activists who were opposing a development. The company was unsuccessful in its claim against the activists.
“SLAPP Suits: an emerging obstacle to public interest environmental litigation in South Africa” Murombo et al, 2011
This article explores how the emergence of SLAPP suits pose a threat to public interest litigation, with a keen focus on environmental public interest litigation and participation in environmental decision-making. Considering how public interest litigation is so important in ensuring that the rights in the Constitution are protected and fulfilled, the article considers how courts should use existing procedural and substantive legal tools to protect litigants faced with SLAPP suits.
Kristin Kallesen and the Greater Kyalami Conservancy (GEKCO) (Defendants), represented by Power Singh Inc., are defending an action brought by Century Property Developments (Pty) Ltd and Riversands Developments (Pty) Ltd (Plaintiffs) for damages amounting to around R197 million as a result of objections and/or appeals lodged by the Defendants in the context of land-use change or similar applications made by the Plaintiffs. The Defendants have pleaded, among other things, that the action constitutes an abuse of process and strategic litigation against public participation, also known as a SLAPP suit.