THE Citizen is considering a possible appeal to the Constitutional Court against a Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) decision in favour of Robert McBride, according to a report on the paper's website.

The SCA has ruled that the publication was wrong to have called the former Ekurhuleni police chief a murderer because he had been granted amnesty for his crimes.

The case arose from a series of articles in 2003, before McBride was appointment as city police chief.

McBride won a defamation action against The Citizen in the High Court in Johannesburg last year, but the newspaper appealed to the SCA.

On Friday, in a majority judgment, the SCA partially upheld the appeal.

The SCA judgment overturned the High Court ruling in connection with comment about "dubious flirtation with alleged gun dealers in Mozambique" and the amount awarded to McBride was reduced from R200,000 to R150,000.

In comment published by the newspaper on Tuesday, The Citizen referred to aspects of the minority judgment by SCA Judge Kenneth K Mthiyane.

The newspaper said Mthiyane argued four points on which The Citizen had met all the requirements of fair comment.

He also invoked Section 16 of the Constitution which enshrines the right to freedom of expression.

Mthiyane also did not agree that the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act (TRC Act) should be interpreted in such a way that McBride could not be called a murderer.

"In my view the relevant provisions of the TRC Act under which amnesty is granted do not have that effect.

"I have difficulty with the notion that a person who has been convicted of murder may not be described as a murderer or a

criminal if he has been granted amnesty," the minority judgment was quoted.

Click here to read the full report, posted on The Citizen's website.