DA in contempt of court - ANC

Johannesburg - The DA is in contempt of court for failing to retract and apologise for an SMS about President Jacob Zuma, the ANC said on Wednesday.

“Instead, the DA is trying to subvert the impact of the judgment for party political gain,” ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said in a statement.

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu File picture: Bongiwe Mchunu. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

“At this hour, it remains in contempt of the order of the court.”

In the SMS, sent to over 1.5 million voters in Gauteng, the Democratic Alliance said: “The Nkandla report shows how Zuma stole your money to build his R246m home.”

On Tuesday, the Electoral Court found the text message amounted to publication of false information.

The court directed the DA to retract the statement by sending out a bulk apology SMS to all the recipients of the first message.

The court held the message should state: “The DA retracts the SMS dispatched to you which falsely stated that President Zuma stole R246m to build his home. The SMS violated the code and the act.”

It was unclear if the court gave a deadline for this.

On April 4, acting Judge Mike Hellens ruled in the High Court of Johannesburg that the SMS was fair comment. The ANC appealed against the decision.

On Tuesday night, the DA said it would seek leave to appeal against the Electoral Court's decision in the Constitutional Court. DA chairman James Selfe said the Electoral Court's ruling was “truly bizarre”.

On Wednesday, Mthembu said the ANC considered the opposition's move to appeal as a delaying tactic. - Sapa