CAPE TOWN Heavy rain. Mostly cloudy. Cool.

MIN12
MAX13
7 day
  • Wednesday 10-14°c Showers early. More sun than clouds. Cool. Showers early. More sun than clouds. Cool.
    Thursday 13-16°c More clouds than sun. Cool. More clouds than sun. Cool.
    Friday 14-17°c Passing showers. Breaks of sun late. Cool. Passing showers. Breaks of sun late. Cool.
    Saturday 13-18°c Mostly cloudy. Mild. Mostly cloudy. Mild.
    Sunday 13-18°c High level clouds. Mild. High level clouds. Mild.
    Monday 12-14°c Sunny. Cool. Sunny. Cool.
More News

SMS ruling a victory for freedom of speech - DA

2014-04-04 13:12

Johannesburg - The DA has welcomed as a victory for freedom of speech a court ruling that the SMS in which it accused President Jacob Zuma of stealing public money was fair comment.

"This is both a victory for freedom of speech and for the truth about [upgrades to Zuma's home at] Nkandla," Democratic Alliance Gauteng premier candidate Mmusi Maimane said on Friday.

The DA's SMS read: "The Nkandla report shows how Zuma stole your money to build his R246m home. Vote DA on 7 May to beat corruption. Together for change." It was sent to prospective voters in Gauteng.

The African National Congress brought an application for the DA to retract the SMS, stop sending it and apologise, or be fined up to R200 000.

Madonsela report

Last month, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released a report on security upgrades totalling R246m to Zuma's private homestead at Nkandla, in KwaZulu-Natal. She found that Zuma gave the nod to all the upgrades and that he and his family unduly benefited from them. She described the amount spent as unconscionable, and recommended that Zuma pay back a percentage.

Acting Judge Mike Hellens dismissed the ANC's application with costs on Friday. The court found that the SMS constituted fair comment.

"The fact that 1.6 million voters in Gauteng have now been communicated the truth about Nkandla has now been backed by a court of law," Maimane said. The court also found that the ANC had failed to properly argue its case by not tabling the findings of Madonsela's report.

"The ANC never tabled the Nkandla report in court because they can't admit to what it says. The fact remains that any reasonable person can conclude that money was stolen to upgrade the president's R246m private homestead," said Maimane.

INTERACTIVE MAP: See how Gauteng votes
INTERACTIVE MAP: See Voting Shifts for Gauteng

In his judgment, Hellens read extracts from Madonsela's report and referred to the Oxford Dictionary definition of the word "loot".

In her report, Madonsela found that the Nkandla upgrades were a "licence to loot".

"The judge also disagreed with the ANC's interpretation of electoral law because it conflicts with 'freedom of expression' and the Bill of Rights," Maimane said.

He said the ANC's case was "based on fear" about its support in Gauteng in the general elections next month.

"The DA repeats our call for the president to be impeached and for criminal charges of corruption to be carried out against him."

NEW! Explore previous National and Provincial election results with our interactive Results Maps by clicking here.

- SAPA
Read more on: anc  |  da  |  mmusi maimane  |  politics  |  nkandla upgrade  |  elections 2014

More In This Category
Fransman heads to court over ANC leadership position

Marius Fransman has approached the Western Cape High Court to intervene in his struggle to regain the position of ANC provincial leader.

Stop deifying Mandela to promote own interests - Nzimande

People should stop deifying former president Nelson Mandela to promote their own interests, says SA Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande.

Karoo is ready for change - EFF

EFF leader Julius Malema is yet to make the long journey down the N1 to Beaufort West in the Western Cape, but the party's municipal election candidates there are predicting a shake-up of the old order.

Fransman is not back - Mantashe

No one - including President Jacob Zuma - has the right to endorse Marius Fransman as ANC Western Cape leader, until the party's integrity committee makes a decision, secretary general Gwede Mantashe says.

Comments
Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
223 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
News24 |   OLX  |  PROPERTY24  |  CAREERS24  |  SPREE  |