R80 000 rejected: on principle

2013-06-08 00:00

CAPE TOWN — It was never about the money, says the man who gave President Jacob Zuma’s convoy the finger.

Wearing a T-shirt with the face of murdered protester Andries Tatane, Chumani Maxwele (28) spoke about the week’s developments in his tussle with the state.

He is now without a lawyer to take his case against Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa further — and has rejected the R80 000 the state offered as settlement on Monday.

Maxwele made headlines when he gave Zuma’s passing convoy the finger on February 10, 2010 as he jogged along the M3 in Cape Town.

He was arrested for his gesture of defiance, and later instituted a claim of R1,4 million for wrongful arrest.

“I decided that my lawyers should negotiate further. As strongly as I feel the case is about principle, and not about money, I felt they should keep talking so that the state would at least cover my legal costs.

“The fact that the state made an offer meant they are willing to accept responsibility for what happened to me.”

On Wednesday he instructed his lawyer to keep negotiating or go to court.

“He answered that they couldn’t do that and he withdrew [from the case].”

Maxwele said it “made no sense” that the lawyer was not prepared to go to court as agreed from the outset. He said the lawyer had taken the case on a contingency basis.

He said he still feels strongly that the case must go ahead.

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