A former Waterkloof High School deputy principal has been awarded R45,000 for defamation after three pupils in 2006 distributed a doctored picture of him masturbating with the principal.

The Pretoria High Court ordered Hennie le Roux, 18, Christiaan Gildenhuys, 19, and Reinhard Janse van Rensburg, 19, to pay Dr Louis Dey the damages because they had humiliated and insulted him.

The picture, which showed two naked men masturbating on a couch next to one another, was doctored to include the faces of Dey and Principle Dr Christoff Becker and was widely distributed among school pupils.

Judge Ben du Plessis said that while the image was obviously fake and amateurish, it suggested that the Dey had low moral values and would make a viewer wonder about his sexual orientation.

The Gauteng education department said in a statement that it welcomed the judgment, describing the incident as a sick joke.

Dey had originally claimed R600, 000 in damages.

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