Another loss for Zuma as court dismisses bid to appeal Hanekom defamation judgment

2019-11-07 12:13
Former president Jacob Zuma. (Themba Hadebe, Pool, AFP)

Former president Jacob Zuma. (Themba Hadebe, Pool, AFP)

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Former president Jacob Zuma's bid for leave to appeal a court judgment that he apologise to ANC veteran Derek Hanekom for a tweet calling him a "known enemy agent", was dismissed on Thursday.

"In the opinion of this court an appeal of judgment would have no reasonable prospects of success before another court," Judge Dhaya Pillay said in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg.

The application was dismissed with costs.

On Tuesday, advocate Thabani Masuku, for Zuma, had argued that the former head of state's tweet had been taken out of context.

READ MORE: Zuma vs Hanekom: 'Known enemy agent' phrase taken out of context, ex-president's team argues

The tweet, posted on July 25, read: "I am not surprised by @Julius_S_Malema’s revelations about @Derek_Hanekom. This is part of the plan I referred to at the Zondo Commission. @Derek_Hanekom is a well-known agent of the enemy."

Zuma's tweet came after it was revealed that Hanekom had met with the EFF leadership to discuss a motion of no confidence in Zuma.

"My lady, context is important, if you look at what was said at the Zondo commission of inquiry, it was focused mainly on what [Zuma] says about spies. What he said about his political onslaught against him is the fact that there were people inside the party and outside the party who wanted him out of leadership roles," Masuku said.

For Hanekom, advocate Carol Steinberg submitted that "known enemy agent" referred to Hanekom as being an apartheid spy.

"Known enemy agent does mean apartheid era spy in this context."

She added that Hanekom, who fought in the struggle for freedom, was naturally upset at the accusation that he was a spy.

In September, the court ordered Zuma to apologise, remove the tweet and to pay damages, the figure of which has yet to be determined, News24 reported.

Read more on:    derek hanekom  |  jacob zuma  |  pietermartizburg  |  courts

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