Media: Zuma drops all cases

2013-06-01 00:00

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has made a U-turn by withdrawing all legal claims he has instituted against various media groups.

“These claims were based on material published either in the form of cartoons or articles which in the president’s view were defamatory and calculated to bring his good name, and in some instances the Office of the President, into disrepute,” said Presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj.

Media reported last year that Zuma had filed at least 11 defamation claims amounting to about R40 million.

These were for material published from 2006 to 2010.

Maharaj said Zuma believed the material sought to cast African males in a particularly negative light, with bigoted and racist overtones and innuendo.

“In consultation with his legal team, President Zuma has elected to withdraw his claims against the various entities and in so doing bring these matters to a close, mindful … that much of the litigation commenced before the president assumed office,” said Maharaj.

He said this consideration was informed by the broader agenda of reconciliation and nation building that Zuma leads in government.

Last year Zuma dropped a R5 million claim against cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro for a 2008 cartoon depicting the president raping Lady Justice.

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