Johannesburg - The high court in Johannesburg on Thursday ordered the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) to apologise to former finance minister Trevor Manuel within 24 hours for making defamatory and false remarks about him in March.
The red berets were further ordered to pay R500 000 in damages and foot Manuel's legal costs.
"It is declared that the respondents' unlawful publication of the statement was and continues to be unlawful. The respondents are ordered to remove the statement within 24 hours from all media platforms, including the first and and third respondents' Twitter accounts. The respondents are ordered to publish a notice on all their media platforms, within 24 hours, in which they unconditionally retract and apologise for the allegations made about the applicant in the statement," read Judge Elias Matojane' judgement. The first respondent in the case in the EFF and the third respondent is the party's leader Julius Malema.
Manuel took the EFF to court after the latter claimed nepotism in the search and appointment of the new SA Revenue Services commissioner. Finance Minister Tito Mboweni appointed a panel, headed by Manuel, to search for a replacement for the embattled Tom Moyane. Edward Kieswetter was subsequently appointed tax boss in March this year.
The EFF criticised the secrecy of the interviews, accusing Manuel of nepotism.