KNYSNA NEWS - Western Cape High Court Judge Siraj Desai has postponed a case involving Knysna blogger Mike Hampton, who on Monday this week sought to have a contempt-of-court order against him rescinded and for the court to grant him representation.
On 27 March 2019, the Western Cape High Court found Hampton guilty of contempt of court following an interdict in 2015 that barred him from publishing anything defamatory against former Knysna deputy mayor Esme Edge but he subsequently released a self-penned e-book, Same Shit, Different Government, wherein he alleges corruption within the DA and Knysna Municipality.
“I was not allowed to mention them but I did by publishing the book,” he told Knysna-Plett Herald (KPH) this week. "I had no choice but to break the interdict as it was in the public interest."
Edge’s attorney, Richard Sohn, said when the court interdicted Hampton on 7 July 2015, he was sentenced to 60 days imprisonment suspended for three years.
"Hampton deliberately acted in contempt of the order by persisting with the publication of blogs that had been prohibited, continuing his campaign of defamation, and compounding matters by publishing an e-book defaming our client, forcing our client to again approach the High Court during 2019 and Hampton was found to be in contempt of court,” he stated.
"This case is a private matter launched by an individual to protect her reputation,” said Sohn. Edge's lawyer said Hampton's application for rescission of judgement is being opposed by his client, and as the matter was on the unopposed roll it was transferred to the opposed roll.
The case has been postponed to 10 March next year.
“Although the law guarantees a fair trial which subsequently must include legal representation, I still have none," Hampton told KPH. "This is DA land. But I've got four months to try to find someone with integrity to better my papers. Maybe Government will act on my evidence before then,” he said.
According to an IOL article on Monday, Hampton went on a hunger strike last year for a period of 94 days losing 22kg. “If I am jailed, I will go on a hunger strike again so that I am solely the government’s responsibility,” he warned.
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