Defending former President Jacob Zuma before the Pietermaritzburg High Court, his legal team said Zuma did not say Derek Hanekom was a spy. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

Durban - Defending former President Jacob Zuma before the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday, his legal team said Zuma did not say Derek Hanekom was a spy.

Arguing before the court on Tuesday, Advocate Mpilo Sikhakhane said it is a known fact that Zuma and Hanekom are not political friends at all. 

Sikhakhane also argued that the Economic Freedom Fighters and the African National Congress are not on good terms and that Hanekom made himself the enemy after he publicly admitted that he worked with Julius Malema's party. Sikhakhane insisted Zuma was not saying Hanekom was an apartheid spy as interpreted by some sections of society.

The arguments are continuing before the court and Judge Dhaya Pillay is hearing the appeal. 

Advocate Mpilo Sikhakhane arguing on behalf of former President Jacob Zuma. He says it is known that Zuma and Hanekom don't get along. Video: Sihle Mavuso

On July 25, Zuma tweeted that: “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.”

Handing down judgment in September, Judge Pillay described the tweet as unlawful and ordered Zuma to remove it within 24 hours. 

"The respondent is ordered to remove the tweet within 24 hours from all media platforms, including by deleting it from his Twitter account," she said.

However, on Zuma’s Twitter feed, the comment is still there and had generated more than 2 000 comments, 3 300 retweets and 7 200 likes.

Political Bureau