Former president President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Former president President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Jacob Zuma promises to comply with ConCourt ruling on offensive Hanekom tweet

By Bongani Hans Time of article published Aug 8, 2020

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Durban - Former President Jacob Zuma will abide by the constitutional and high courts rulings by publicly apologising for calling former ANC disciplinary committee chairperson Derek Hanekom an enemy agent.

This is according to Zuma’s his lawyer Eric Mabuza.

When asked about deleting the offensive tweet and payment of the damages to Hanekom, Mabuza could only say “we will comply with the court order.”

Zuma's spokesperson Vukile Mathabela had not yet responded to questions sent to him via WhatsApp, and he did not answer his phone, while his son Edward Zuma said he would not comment on the matter because he had not seen or read it although he said he had heard about it.

In reaction to the Constitutional Court ruling, which was made on Friday in support of last year's Durban High Court ruling, Hanekom called on leaders, including former Zuma, not to go around making unfounded statements about people’s past.

“It (ruling) is good because justice has been done, and people, especially occupying important positions like president of the Republic of South Africa, and president of the ANC should certainly not be allowed to get away with totally unfounded statement about people’s past and statement which is highly defamatory, dangerous and very offensive,” said Hanekom.

Hanekom spoke to the SABC news channel yesterday soon after the Constitutional Court issued the judgement, which rejected Zuma’s appeal of the Durban High Court’s ruling on the “enemy agent” matter.

Hanekom had last year sued Zuma for R500 000 after he had offensively accused him. After the legal deliberation, Durban High Court Judge Dhaya Pillay had in September ruled that Zuma should publish an apology and also remove the tweet in which he had said: "I'm not surprised by @Julius_S_Malema revelations regarding @Derek_Hanekom. It is part of the plan I mentioned at the Zondo Commission. @Derek_Hanekom is a known enemy agent." This was apparently after EFF leader Julius Malema had revealed that Hanekom had planned with the EFF to oust Zuma.

Hanekom said he was expecting Zuma to now draft an apology to be made public within 24 hours.

“I will accept the apology, but of course he would have to retract the tweet and the court would determine the amount of damages that will have to be paid.

“We had decided R500 000 for damages, which should immediately be paid, but I have no financial interest in the matter and whatever is decided by the court will go to Corruption Watch,” he said.

Hanekom described the litigation as having been a “quite a long chapter with one appeal after the other, which affected us both.

“I am relieved and certainly I am feeling good about it.”

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