Independent Newspaper executives are suing the investigative magazine, Noseweek, for publishing an article accusing the company of kickbacks and money laundering, The Star reported on Wednesday.
According to court papers served on Noseweek editor Martin Welz, Independent Newspapers Cape Editor-in-Chief Chris Whitfield, former Gauteng Editor-in-Chief Moegsien Williams, and chief executive Tony Howard were suing for R350 000 in damages.
"We gave Noseweek ample opportunity to correct their distortions, and they have failed to do so," Whitfield said.
The Noseweek article claimed that Independent Newspapers struck a deal with Auction Alliance on the publication of information about auction kickbacks.
The defendants were Welz, Chaucer Publications — the owner and publisher of Noseweek — and magazine marketing and subscription services, the registrant of the magazine's website.
Welz told the newspaper he would defend the article.
"I think I have more than a fair chance. I have faced cases like this before and I have never lost a case," he said.
"I think it's fair and well that members of the media have spats and criticise each other in their columns. It's quite another thing... [when] they take one another to court."