If an interdict is sought preventing the future publication of alleged defamatory matter, the facts upon which the allegation is based must be clear and it must be clear that the defendant has no defence.

If the defendant sets up evidence of a defence such as truth and public interest or fair comment, the interdict will not be granted.

Preventing a future statement said to be defamatory impinges on the constitutionally protected right to freedom of speech.

A corporate entity is entitled to claim damages based on defamation but must show actual financial loss and general damages for harm to its commercial reputation. An interdict needs evidence that the company will suffer irreparable harm in future by further publication of the allegedly defamatory material. Otherwise its remedy is to sue for damages in due course if the allegations are published.

In Herbal Zone v Infitech Technologies there was a dispute whether the one company or the other had the right to market a product sourced in Malaysia under a particular product name. The dispute could not be resolved on the allegations in the affidavits. Resolving the dispute would be left to future proceedings and could not form the basis for interdicting a future alleged defamation.