SCA dismisses Jacob Zuma's appeal in Derek Hanekom defamation judgment

2020-05-21 13:19
Former president Jacob Zuma is seen inside the Pietermaritzburg High Court. Picture: Gallo Images/Thulie Dlamini

Former president Jacob Zuma is seen inside the Pietermaritzburg High Court. Picture: Gallo Images/Thulie Dlamini

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Former president Jacob Zuma has lost his appeal against a high court ruling that he defamed ANC veteran Derek Hanekom, who he accused of being a "known enemy agent".

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein, on Wednesday, dismissed Zuma's appeal without it being heard, stating that there is no reasonable prospect of success in the appeal.

The SCA further held the view that there are no other compelling reasons why the appeal should be heard.

In 2019, Zuma tweeted that Hanekom was a well-known agent of the enemy. His tweet followed revelations that Hanekom had met with the EFF to discuss a motion of no confidence in Zuma when he was the sitting president.

READ | Jacob Zuma ordered to say sorry to Derek Hanekom over 'known enemy agent' tweet

Hanekom took Zuma to court to the tune of R500 000 for defamation following the tweet on 25 July, 2019.

In September 2019, the KwaZulu-Natal High Court ordered Zuma to apologise for the tweet and interdicted him from publishing any statement in the future that said or implied that Hanekom was an enemy agent or apartheid spy.

Judge Dhaya Pillay found that the tweet was false and defamatory and ordered that it be removed within 24 hours of the judgment being handed down.

Zuma was also ordered to publish the apology on his Twitter account, within 24 hours after the judgment was handed down.  

Hanekom was awarded damages against Zuma, "the quantum of which is yet to be determined", News24 previously reported.

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

Zuma then applied for leave to appeal the judgment, which was dismissed by Judge Pillay in November 2019, on the basis that there was no reasonable prospects of success before another court.

Zuma's legal team had argued that the tweet was taken out of context.

Hanekom’s legal team submitted that a "known enemy agent" referred to Hanekom being an apartheid era spy.

Following the dismissal for leave to appeal, Zuma then petitioned the SCA directly in a bid to appeal the judgment of the KwaZulu-Natal High Court.

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma  |  derek hanekom  |  court
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