- Former president Jacob Zuma has lost his application to appeal the judgment in the battle against ex-minister Derek Hanekom
- Zuma will now have to delete the offending social media post and pay damages to his fellow ANC comrade
- The ex-president had been found guilty of defaming the former tourism minister
Jacob Zuma has lost his bid to appeal the judgment finding him guilty of defaming ex-minister Derek Hanekom.
The KwaZulu-Natal High Court dismissed the application on Thursday, forcing Zuma to remove the social media post calling Hanekom a 'known enemy agent'.
The former president will have to publicly apologise to the ANC politician and pay an undetermined amount in damages.
Briefly.co.za reported that Zuma's comment had followed a revelation that Hanekom had worked with the EFF in a bid to have the ex-president removed from office.
Speaking to the judge, Zuma's legal team had argued that context was important in this matter:
“My lady, context is important, if you look at what was said at the Zondo commission of inquiry, it was focused mainly on what [Zuma] says about spies. What he said about his political onslaught against him is the fact that there were people inside the party and outside the party who wanted him out of leadership roles."
The defence had been that Zuma was referring to Hanekom in this context, not hinting that the minister had worked with apartheid forces:
“He simply says there was a concerted effort to make sure he gets out of power. Even Hanekom says he played a role in that. A reasonable reader would ask, how did you play a role in removing Zuma? Well, he liaised with the EFF and other political parties to get him out.”
The Citizen reports Advocate Carol Steinberg was adamant that in the context of the comment Zuma had indeed been referring to Hanekom as a spy:
“Known enemy agent does mean apartheid-era spy in this context.”
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