20 January 1990
On 20 January 1990 General Lothar Neethling sued the Vrye Weekblad and the Weekly Mail for R1, 5 million.  The lawsuit was sparked by newspaper reports in which former police captain Dirk Coetzee alleged that Neethling has supplied him with toxin to be used on anti-apartheid activists. Justice Johan Kriegler ruled in favour of the Vrye Weekblad and accepted Coetzee version of the story while he found Neethling to be an unreliable witness.Subsequent to the ruling, Democratic Party (DP) leader Zach de Beer stated that: "The fact that the court found in favour of a relatively small newspaper, which is certainly not popular in government circles, and against a prominent general of the police force must encourage any person or any party which is dedicated to human rights." Neethling successfully appealed against the ruling of Justice Johan Kriegler and this resulted in the closure of the Vrye Weekbladin 1994.

Anon, (1997), 'Chronology Of Some Pointers To The History Of The Media In South Africa', from O'Malley, The Heart of Hope, [online], Available at www.nelsonmandela.org.za [Accessed: 12 January 2011]|Anon, (1997), police general should be charged with murder, says max du preez,  from South African Press Association (SAPA), September 17,  [online], Available at www.doj.gov.za [Accessed: 12 January 2011]|Wren C.S,  (1991), South African Judge Throws Out Police Suit Against 2 Papers, from the New York Times, January 19, [online], Available at www.nytimes.com [Accessed: 12 January 2011]