HARARE – Former Big Brother Africa reality TV show winner Wendall Parsons has filed a $500 000 defamation suit against an insurance company that pressed criminal charges against him over an alleged $20 000 car insurance fraud.
According to papers filed with the court, Wendall cited Siphathisiwe Sibanda and Alliance Insurance Company (Private) Limited as respondents.
He told the court that Sibanda acted maliciously by reporting the matter to the police, leading to his three-day detention and prosecution.
“The statement made to the police led to the publication of those false allegations on both national and international TV stations, radios, newspapers and online publications,” Wendall said.
He further claims that the police report was “false and defamatory” meant to portray him as a dishonest man.
He said as a result, he suffered excruciating pain while in detention, extreme physiological trauma and incurred huge legal costs defending the matter.
Wendall is demanding a total of $516 000 for defamation and a further $28 750 for the insurance of his accident-damaged vehicle, which panel beaters declared a write-off.
The former Big Brother Africa reality TV show winner, who was jointly charged with his brother William, walked scot-free after Harare magistrate Elijah Makomo ruled that the State failed to prove a case against him.
Makomo said evidence presented before the court through state witnesses and 18 documentary exhibits was not sufficient.
He said evidence before the court proved that Wendall’s vehicle had insurance cover, expiring on July 8 this year and Alliance insurance company had not informed him of the cancellation prior to his arrest.
The company only informed him formally about the cancellation after he had been arrested.
The state had accused Wendall and his brother of claiming payment for a Ford Ranger and two other trailers allegedly insured after an accident in March this year.