What's private on WhatsApp?

On Monday well-known businessman Mzwanele Manyi won a defamation lawsuit against #FeesMustFall activist Mcebo Dlamini, who had called made unflattering remarks about him in a WhatsApp group.

This then raised questions around privacy in WhatsApp groups and where the law stands around the admissibility of evidence gathered from such groups.

So, what are the rules of engagement when it comes to these issues?

READ: 'Basetsana Kumalo explained to me that this was the worst week of her life'

Lawyer Verlie Oosthuizen says while people can give declarations and disclaimers at the beginning of WhatsApp groups it doesn't that will protect them against a case of defamation.

She adds that while disclaimers may show an intention on the part of the person that the views submitted are their own, it doesn't get them off the hook completely.

It doesn't protect you completely, it obviously shows that you are aware of the fact that you could be bringing other people into it, that shouldn't be.

Verlie Oosthuizen, Partner at Shepstone and Wylie Attorneys Social Media Law Department

Listen below to the full interview:


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