Sunday 31 August 2014

A question from "Anonymous" - Johnstown "University"

Someone without the courage to share his or her names asks the following question:
"Did you know the law of defame? I am not say anything; just wonder."
This relates to a story about yet another fake "university" calling itself "Johnstown University". You can see the post here.

Let's ignore the poor English that, to me, is possibly reminiscent of the Middle East or the Indian sub-continent where, surely not coincidentally, many of these fake universities operate.

Instead I'll answer the question. Yes, I do know about defamation. The Penal Code of Botswana defines defamation like this:
192. Definition of criminal defamation
Any person who, by print, writing, painting, effigy, or by any means otherwise than solely by gestures, spoken words, or other sounds, unlawfully publishes any defamatory matter concerning another person, with intent to defame that other person, is guilty of the offence termed criminal defamation.

193. Definition of defamatory matter
Defamatory matter is matter likely to injure the reputation of any person by exposing him to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or likely to damage any person in his profession or trade by an injury to his reputation.
Clearly I HAVE helped to "injure the reputation" of this ludicrous, ridiculous and bogus establishment. I confess that. However, the Penal Code goes on to say this (the emphasis is mine):
195. Definition of unlawful publication
Any publication of defamatory matter concerning a person is unlawful within the meaning of this Division, unless-
(a) the matter is true and it was for the public benefit that it should be published
So it's NOT defamation if what I said is true (it is) and if the public need to know about it (they do).

Lesson over.

No comments: