CAPE Town Mayor Dan Plato has given up a legal bid to sue a local tabloid for defamation, writes Lindsay Dentlinger in the Cape Argus.

On Wednesday the full council rescinded a decision that it had taken in May that would have allowed Plato to pursue the matter using council funds.

An article published in Die Son newspaper alleged that the mayor was engaged in improper relations with female staff members in his office.

The DA refrained from contributing to debate on a report tabled before the council on Wednesday in which it was asked to retract four out of five recommendations for action to which it had earlier agreed.

The council would, however, stick to the view that it had endorsed earlier, that the "methodology employed by the newspaper was reprehensible and deplorable".

The latest report to the council noted that further investigations into the ability of the council to provide legal assistance to the mayor in this regard had produced differing legal opinion.

Because of this, Plato had decided not to proceed with legal action against Die Son at this time.

The press ombudsman ruled in July that Plato had not been defamed by the article, although it acknowledged that he had been the victim of an unfair attack.

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