Former finance minister Trevor Manuel File picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA
Former finance minister Trevor Manuel File picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

EFF considering Concourt appeal over Manuel defamation case

By Samkelo Mtshali Time of article published Dec 19, 2020

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Cape Town – The EFF says it is currently consulting with its senior legal counsel on the prospects of an appeal to the Constitutional Court after the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled this week that the party’s 2019 remarks about former finance minister Trevor Manuel were defamatory and false.

This follows the SCA's judgment this week that the EFF's allegations of nepotism and corruption regarding Manuel’s role in the appointment of Edward Kiesswetter as South African Revenue Services Commissioner in May 2019 were indeed defamatory and false.

At the time, the EFF had referred to Kiesswetter as a “dodgy character” and that he had ties to Manuel because they were not only related but were also business associates.

The EFF had appealed a ruling of the North Gauteng High Court, which had also found the remarks to be defamatory and false and is now seeking reprieve from the Constitutional Court on the matter.

However, the SCA found that the R500 000 award in damages the high court ordered the EFF to pay Manuel was extraordinarily high and unjustifiable, and ordered that the high court redetermines the damages after oral evidence has been presented to it.

In a statement, the red berets’ national spokesperson, Vuyani Pambo, said: “The EFF notes that the SCA found in favour of Manuel, the defamation argument. We are currently consulting with our Senior Counsel to advise on the prospects of an appeal to the Constitutional Court.”

Pambo said that while the appeal in the defamation judgment was pending, they did not wish any delays on Manuel’s part in taking the case to the high court for oral evidence.

“It is at the high court that the EFF shall further display to the world why Manuel is not entitled to even a cent of this argument. No funds of the EFF shall be spent on Manuel. If he wants EFF money, he will have to fight for it in court.

“Once again, this move shatters Manuel’s deepest desire, which is to extract money from the EFF to give to some of his fictional victims that probably constitute yet another lobby for Cyril Ramaphosa’s corrupted presidency,” Pambo said.

He added that the EFF relished the opportunity for oral evidence to be heard on this “matter of national concern and interest” as any possibility of the compromising of the integrity of the country’s institutions had to be placed under firm scrutiny.

Political Bureau

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