GroundUp's court cases

The following are live matters as of 30 May 2022. We are confident the applicants in all the cases below have no reasonable grounds for litigating. View on site

The Ferreira family v GroundUp

In 2018, GroundUp wrote an article about a small protest by workers at Endulini Farms. Pieter Ferreira, who owns the farm, sent a complaint about the article to the Press Ombudsman. The complaint was dismissed. His application for leave to appeal was also dismissed. Now, Ferreira and three of his companies (Endulini Fruit, Endulini Sundays River Fruit, and Galactic Deals 138) are suing us for R2 million.

Frankly, it is bizarre that a man who has been ruled against by both the Press Ombudsman and the Press Appeals Panel is now choosing to have a second bite at the cherry by suing us in court instead of taking the Ombudsman's ruling on review. Moreover the application was lodged about a month before the statute of limitations on defamation expired. We believe this litigation is vexatious and vindictive and will be asking the High Court in Gqeberha for a punitive cost order against Ferreira.

Yashoda Ram v GroundUp

Lawyers for Yashoda Ram, the provisional curator of NUMSA’s insurer 3Sixty Life, have sent GroundUp a letter of demand asking us to remove an article. We refused.

Alfred Nevhuthanda v GroundUp

In response to an article by GroundUp describing Alfred Nevhuthanda's unlawful use of the National Lotteries Commission's funds to purchase an estate for R27 million, Nevhuthanda's lawyers sent a letter to GroundUp demanding the article be taken down because the article included pictures of his house. We refused.

Fikile Mbalula v GroundUp

Lawyers for the Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, sent GroundUp a letter of demand asking us to publish an apology for an article we wrote and to pay him a sum of R2 million in compensation. We responded and have not heard back since. 

Lesley Ramulifho v GroundUp

Lesley Ramulifho, a corrupt lawyer and forger, has, since 2019, been attempting to get an interdict to compel GroundUp to remove articles that mention his name in relation to lottery corruption. He attempted to take the case as an urgent matter in April 2019 but the judge threw it out. Then, he filed an affidavit with forged documents, including a bogus bank statement, to an affidavit in the matter. GroundUp consequently lodged a complaint against Ramulifho with the Legal Practice Council (LPC) but the LPC declined to investigate Ramulifho.

GroundUp v Legal Practice Council

Because the LPC declined to investigate Ramulifho, we have decided to take them to court to have their decision reviewed. The LPC has chosen not to oppose the case, but Ramulifho is opposing.

Phillemon Letwaba v GroundUp

The National Lotteries Comission chief operating officer, Phillemon Letwaba, is suing GroundUp and Raymond Joseph because of 6 articles in which Letwaba is accused of nepotism and acting in conflict of interest. 

Pinky Khosa v GroundUp

Lawyers for Pinky Khosa, a director of the non-profit organisation Lulamisa Community Development, sent GroundUp a letter of demand asking us to remove an article and to issue an apology. We responded via email and have not heard back since.