- The Johannesburg high court found in favour of Mashaba in the defamation case
- Mashaba had taken Tau to court over disparaging remarks Tau had made about him
- Tau accused Mashaba of being sexist and anti-black
The Johannesburg high court has ruled that former Johannesburg mayor Parks Tau's comments about current mayor Herman Mashaba were defamatory.
Tau had reportedly accused Mashaba of being prejudiced against women and black people.
The court found that Tau's comments amounted to "character assassination".
Tau is alleged to have said, "The city is today led by a man who believes women who are senior executives prostituted themselves to be in the jobs they are in. He says that in fact for them to earn the positions that they are in they had to sleep with the leadership."
Tau also said that if Mashaba could, he would choose not to be black.
Tau did not deny making the statement, and in fact defended his comments. He said that the comments were legitimate criticism, and that he made them after Mashaba called on corrupt or inefficent government employees to be purged.
Mashaba said, "The days when they allowed their girlfriends to run state institutions are over," according to the Sunday Times.
In response, Mashaba approached the court to force Tau to apologise and withdraw his statement. The court found in favor of Mashaba and ordered Tau to cover Mashaba's costs. Additionally, the judge interdicted Tau from making further disparaging remarks about Mashaba.
The judge said that Tau's comments went beyond fair political criticism. He found the statement about Mashaba not wanting to be black, in particular, to amount to defamation.
Mashaba said he would donate the money received from Tau to charity.
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