The Johannesburg High Court ruled that Matinyarare’s online accusations against Innscor, including claims of “destroying the taste of Zimbabwean food,” were defamatory, leading to potential damages and a substantial legal bill for Matinyarare.
The interim order, issued on January 9, instructed Matinyarare, known for supporting the Zanu PF government on South African television, to delete two defamatory tweets, a post on his website, and a video on his Facebook page.
Matinyarare appears to have complied with the order by removing the contested content.
Matinyarare, residing in South Africa, had criticized Innscor in recorded videos and on his website, alleging a monopoly by the company.
He also targeted the company’s founder, Zinona ‘Zed’ Koudounaris, referring to him as a “Rhodie,” a term used for descendants of British colonialists nostalgic for colonial times.
Koudounaris, born in Zimbabwe to Greek parents, denies fitting the definition of a Rhodie.
Justice Namhla Thina Siwendu of the Gauteng Division of the High Court in Johannesburg stated that Matinyarare is “interdicted and restrained from publishing any of the defamatory statements” contained in the articles and videos.
Two of the videos were titled ‘Innscor has destroyed the taste of Zim food’ and ‘The Innscor problem explained.’
The court order allows Innscor and Koudounaris to bring a civil damages claim within 30 days, which would extend the interim order until the final determination of the civil damages claim.
Failure to do so will result in the order being lifted.
Its interests include stock exchange-listed companies like Padenga, Axia Holdings, and Simbisa Brands, with subsidiaries such as Colcom, National Foods, Capri, Profeeds, Pro Brands, NatPak, and Irvines.