Zuma and Hanekom go head-to-head in court over spy allegations

Zuma and Hanekom go head-to-head in court over spy allegations

- The Durban High Court is currently hearing the matter between Derek Hanekom and Jacob Zuma

- Hanekom is suing Zuma for R500 000 in damages over Zuma's allegations that Hanekom is a "known enemy agent"

- Zuma has stood by his comments, saying that they are accurate

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The Durban High Court is hearing the matter between former tourism minister Derek Hanekom and former president Jacob Zuma on Friday.

Hanekom is suing Zuma for defamation after Zuma allegedly accused him of being an apartheid spy.

Zuma is standing his ground, however.

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In court papers filed on Friday morning, Zuma says that called Hanekom a "known enemy agent" because of Hanekom's meetings with EFF MPs in 2017 to discuss a motion of no confidence in Zuma. Zuma says that Hanekom "colluded with opposition parties that sought to remove me as president", according to Times Live. 

In other words, Zuma is arguing that his tweets about Hanekom were not defamatory because they were accurate. "He fits the description I attach to him in my tweet," Zuma's court documents read.

Additionally, Zuma denies having called Hanekom an "apartheid spy" - although he did not rule out that he might do so in future.

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Hanekom's legal representatives did not disagree with Zuma's characterisation of Hanekom's meetings with the EFF. In fact, Hanekom said he was proud that he had done so, Business Live has reported.

In addition, they make the case that Hanekom's meetings with the EFF are not proof that he was working against the ANC as a whole, but rather just against Zuma.

"Mr Zuma disingenuously conflates his own enemies with the enemies of the ANC," said Hanekom's lawyer, advocate Carl Steinberg. 

Nevertheless, Hanekom's lawyers argue that Zuma's spy allegations have done "immense reputational harm" to the former tourism minister. As a result, they are seeking R500 000 in damages from Zuma.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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