Pretoria High Court Dismisses Urgent Application Against Queen Modjadji Series

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By Staff Reporter

PRETORIA-The Pretoria High Court has dismissed the urgent application to interdict the highly anticipated Queen Modjadji series from airing.

Acting Judge Anthony Minnaar ruled that the matter lacked urgency and that there was insufficient evidence to show how the rights of Rain Queen Masalanabo Modjadji VII would be infringed by a work of fiction.

In his judgment, Minnaar stated, “They knew about the [series] as early as June. Instead, they waited for the production to be completed. It’s difficult for the court to comprehend how the rights of the queen will be infringed by this fiction of work and in essence the matter lacks a sense of urgency. The matter is struck off the roll.”

The series, produced by renowned poet Duma ka Ndlovu, is scheduled to air on Sunday on Mzansi Magic. However, the Balobedu Royal Council approached the Pretoria High Court on an urgent basis to prevent MultiChoice from airing it, claiming that they had not given consent nor had they been consulted.

Advocate Terry Motau, representing MultiChoice, argued that the application was not urgent, as the applicants had known about the production since 2023 through media reports and had been liaising with MultiChoice since March. He highlighted the potential financial losses MultiChoice would suffer if the application were granted.

“Given the importance and the significance of the show, your lordship saw the list of things that have been spent on, in terms of research, personnel that Mr. Ndlovu brought on board, the publicity, the contracts with advertisers, the amount of revenue or income that stands to be lost,” Motau said.

Motau further clarified that the series is a work of fiction set around the first Rain Queen and events that occurred more than 200 years ago, emphasizing that it documents historical injustices endured by the Balobedu. He noted that disclaimers stating the series is “inspired by true events” appear at the start and end of each episode.

On the other hand, Advocate Louis Kok, representing the Balobedu Royal Council, argued that airing the show would infringe upon the queen’s rights, stating, “This is a case of constitutional and cultural and even religious importance as protected by the constitution. It’s a serious case, unlike one where financial remedy will be sought at a later stage. The rights of the Queen and the Balobedu will be infringed upon.”

Despite these arguments, the court found that the urgency of the application was not substantiated, and thus, the matter was removed from the roll. The series is set to premiere as planned on Sunday, July 13.

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