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Ruling due in Joost's book case

2013-10-04 08:47
Joost van der Westhuizen
Johannesburg - The High Court in Pretoria is expected to rule on Friday on former Springbok rugby player Joost van der Westhuizen's attempt to stop the publication of a book about his marriage to Amor Vittone.

On Wednesday, the court heard that Van der Westhuizen could not rely on his right to privacy to stop the publication of Joost & Amor: Behind the Scenes.

Frank Snyckers SC, for former celebrity reporter Gavin Prins and publishers Random House Struik, said Van der Westhuizen had actively kept his personal life in the public sphere.

The court heard that Van der Westhuizen had not shown that Prins's book would infringe on his rights to privacy, dignity, or life.

Ailing health

Van der Westhuizen suffers from motor neuron disease, a fatal disease that attacks the nerves in the brain and spine which regulate breathing, speech, swallowing, walking, and gripping.

He has been in a wheelchair for some time and was unable to sign his affidavit. He asked the court for a final interdict to prohibit Prins and Random from printing, publishing, distributing, or marketing the book.

Prins said 10,000 copies had already been printed and were about to be distributed when Van der Westhuizen went to court.

Prins claims to be a 'friend'

Van der Westhuizen has accused Prins, who is now deputy editor at Heat magazine, of "seeking sensation from the circumstances of a dying man".

Prins claimed in court papers he was a friend and confidante of Van der Westhuizen and his estranged wife.

The couple's break-up followed the revelation of a sex video featuring Van der Westhuizen and another woman. He confessed to being the man in the video in his authorised 2009 autobiography.

Van der Westhuizen said in court papers he still had a right to privacy, despite being well-known.

Joost and his team in court on Wednesday: publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

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