Former president Jacob Zuma at the Zondo Commission. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)

Johannesburg - Judge Daya Pillay on Friday ruled in favour of former tourism minister Derek Hanekom in his civil case against former president Jacob Zuma. 

Judge Pillay ruled that Zuma’s tweet had been “untrue, defamatory and unlawful” and ordered the former head of state to apologise to Hanekom and remove the tweet within 24 hours while also being liable to pay the legal costs.

Zuma tweeted on July 25: “I am 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.”

The comment was tweeted after EFF leader Julius Malema said that Hanekom had met privately with its secretary-general, Godrich Gardee, to discuss ousting Zuma as president in a parliamentary vote.

Hanekom filed an application in the Durban High Court, in which he asked the court to find that the tweet posted about him by Zuma was “defamatory and false”, that the former president should be ordered to remove the statement from all platforms within 24 hours, and apologise on Twitter and retract and denounce the damaging tweet as false within 24 hours of a judgment being handed down.

He further asked the court to interdict Zuma from making any further statement that implies that he “is or was an enemy agent or an apartheid spy”.

Hanekom was also seeking damages of R500 000 or alternatively that Zuma be found liable to pay damages.

IOL and African News Agency (ANA)