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The law of defamation is about words. In Africa the word retains much power, whether in the form of witchcraft, or divination, oral history, praise-singing or singing as a form of social control. Defamation is, therefore, an area of the law in which there is, in most Commonwealth African countries, quite vigorous activity.
This book deals mainly with the common law, that is the English system imported as part of the colonial baggage into most of these countries. However, the book presents no cases from Mozambique, which is a civil law country, few from South Africa, and only one from Cameroon. Nigeria is more prominently represented than other countries simply because of its size and the number of its reported cases.
This book is intended as an analysis of the law pertaining to defamation, but considering the nature of the law and how it is used in African countries, it could also be useful in the areas of sociology and politics.