Dan Roodt wants to sue 'The Daily Show' for 100s of millions
The Afrikaans activist says the show defamed him and undermined his intelligence.
JOHANNESBURG - Controversial advocate for a separatist Afrikaaner state, Dan Roodt, has told Eyewitness News that he intends pursuing legal action against US television programme The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, as well as those who have "obsessively" shared a link to an interview he did on the show.
On his list of people to sue is Daily Maverick columnist Rebecca Davis, whom he informed of his intention via Twitter on Friday 7 November after she shared a link to the interview. Roodt says that he intends to sue for an amount of between R100 million and R1 billion.
Roodt believes that he was defamed in his interview with the Daily Show and is seeking damages done to his reputation.
In 2010 the show's John Oliver set out on a trip to South Africa in a piece that satirised racism and race relations. Oliver then interviewed Roodt in the segment and it seemed that while Roodt took the interview quite seriously, he was unaware of Oliver's sarcasm throughout the interview.
When asked by EWN whether his intentions were sincere, Roodt responded in the affirmative, stating that he was still analysing the merits of his planned defamation case. He said that he had thought it would be more complicated to sue parties in the US but realised that it is not. Roodt claims that The Daily Show acted in bad faith and the video clip doing the rounds on the internet is being used as part of a smear campaign against him.
When asked how realistic he thought seeking damages worth up to a R1 billion was, Roodt said that he thought that it was a possible number when taking the US model of litigation into account.
"Yes, when you start applying US standards that's a very realistic amount. I mean people in the USA get colossal settlements for small little things. And you know for someone's reputation being slighted, somebody not getting a job or suffering some form of delictual damage. They get colossal settlements. So that is another dimension of compensation to what we're talking about here in South Africa."
Roodt explained how the video was being used as a smear campaign.
"Well, the way that it was edited, they completely twisted what I said around. You know they edited it in such a way that on some of the questions where I actually say no then suddenly they insert the yes and so on. So they're making me look like a complete idiot and they say that I'm a racist.
"You know I've never used any racist terminology in my life, I've only quoted other people on certain ethnic issues and so on. So nothing that I've ever said cannot be backed up by hard evidence."
He went on to explain that he felt that the interview was "a colonial way of doing things", where he felt that The Daily Show came to South Africa expecting him to be "some sort of native to be slandered and ridiculed".
As to his intention to sue Davis, Roodt said,"I think that after this article by Rebecca Davis, ja I think she even asked me to sue her. So ja let's do it, let's go to court and talk this thing out in front of the judge."
Roodt has also published a public response to both Davis and The Daily Show, where he facetiously unpacks his reasons for seeking legal action and explains how his intelligence has been undermined.
Listen to the full interview with Eyewitness News below.