Daily Maverick fails to respond to Mkhwebane’s R5m demand

Prominent news outlet the Daily Maverick and its journalist Marianne Thamm have failed to respond to a letter of demand issued by EFF MP advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

The demand revolves around a headline published by the Daily Maverick on Christmas Eve that has since sparked controversy.

The contentious headline in question reads: “PEOPLE OF THE YEAR 2023 – Kant of the Year: Busisiwe Mkhwebane comes back to rock Parliament with her EFF studs.”

In the letter dated December 26, Mkhwebane’s legal team argued that the language used in the headline is insensitive, especially in the context of the country’s ongoing battle against gender-based violence.

The letter highlighted the severe and potentially irreversible damage to Mkhwebane’s dignity, as well as the potential impact on her family, including her children, and her standing as a public representative of the EFF.

“The headline was too low, unwarranted and better less intrusive or demeaning word or words could have been used than crude insulting cruelty,” wrote the lawyers.

“Our client is a married family woman with children who are at risk of being bullied and ridiculed as a result of your malicious headline.”

As a remedy, Mkhwebane demanded a retraction of the headline and a public apology, with the wording to be consulted with her legal team.

R5-million payment demand

She also demanded a payment of R5-million to a non-profit organisation fighting against gender-based violence as compensation for the harm caused.

The Daily Maverick and Marianne Thamm were given a 24-hour deadline to respond to the demands, which expired on Wednesday evening.

According to Godrich Gardee, representing Mkhwebane, there has been no communication or response from the Daily Maverick or Thamm.

Gardee confirmed that his team is consulting with Mkhwebane to determine the next steps in the legal dispute.

“Not at all [they have not responded] but we are going to take the next step. We are in consultation with our client,” said Gardee.

Sunday World reached out to the Daily Maverick for a comment, but as of late, there has been no response to the enquiry.

Meanwhile, Thamm, the journalist at the centre of the controversy, has stated that she is on holiday with her children and does not wish to be disturbed.

“I am on holiday with my kids, I am in my home … no I can’t [talk],” she commented when Sunday World contacted her on Wednesday.

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