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The ANC Youth League, Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu have apologised to Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and retracted defamatory comments made about her in 2009.
Shivambu had called her a “racist girl” and “sick woman” and claimed that her all-male executive were her boyfriends and concubines while Malema called her executive council a “group of racist Helen Zille garden boys” at a rally in Cato Manor, Durban, in February 2009.
At the same rally, he apparently referred to her as a “racist”, “colonialist” and “imperialist”.
She described the insults as “racist” and “sexist” and sued the men and the ANCYL for R350 000 each.
Summons was also issued against provincial leader Andile Lili.
However, Zille said she had agreed to a settlement after she was asked whether she would be amenable to an apology.
The settlement was made an order of court on Thursday.
In terms of the settlement, the ANC Youth League, Malema and Shivambu unreservedly apologised for and unequivocally retracted the defamatory statements made by them.
The order recorded that Malema, Shivambu and the ANCYL recognised the offence taken and harm caused.
The ANCYL, Malema and Shivambu were jointly and severally liable to pay Zille’s legal costs.
Zille’s attorney, Amanda Torr, told the Cape Argus on Thursday that Judge Lee Bozalek made the order in chambers and not in open court. The settlement agreement did not include Lili.
Lili, the youth league’s former treasurer in the Dullah Omar region, is accused of telling a newspaper in January, 2010: “Zille is a racist. Helen Zille during apartheid was not there. She never fought to liberate us and today she claims to be the champion of democracy. She wants to make sure the apartheid regime government is back.”
He has refused to apologise.
He said on Thursday that he was merely being honest when he made the comments.
Zille told the Cape Argus on Thursday night: “All too often, the only card the ANC has left to play is the race card.
“I wanted the courts to draw a line on this, and this has now been done.”
- Cape Argus