Parks Tau welcomes high court ruling in running war of words with Herman Mashaba

2019-03-16 16:55
Parks Tau (File, City Press)

Parks Tau (File, City Press)

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Former Johannesburg mayor Parks Tau has welcomed a high court ruling granting him leave to appeal a judgment related to a defamation case brought by his successor, Herman Mashaba.

Tau, who is the chairperson of the South African Local Government Association (Salga), was granted leave to appeal a judgment handed down against him on February 8 in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg. 

The appeal will be heard in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein.

The high court had found that Tau's statements about Mashaba were defamatory and interdicted him from repeating them.

In 2016, soon after Mashaba was elected mayor, Tau was reported to have verbally attacked Mashaba at the funeral of ANC councillor Nonhlanhla Mthembu, claiming his successor was sexist and anti-black. Mthembu died in August 2016 after collapsing during proceedings to vote for the new mayor of the city.

READ: Parks Tau interdicted from making 'defamatory' comments about Mashaba

In his February judgment, Judge William Van der Linde said "the degrading aspect of the statement is so egregious that it transcends the boundaries of legitimate and fair political side-swipe". 

Van der Linde also said the comment "stretched the boundaries of legitimate political criticism into character assassination".

Tau was ordered to pay the costs of the interdict application and Mashaba said that amount will also be paid to an organisation supporting women

ALSO READ: Mashaba faces legal action over remarks about Joburg ANC councillor

Salga spokesperson Phindile Chauke said Tau welcomed the court decision to grant him leave to appeal, as an opportunity to prove that his utterances stem from Mashaba's own assertions that women executives who served under his leadership in the City of Johannesburg were merely appointed on the basis of being "girlfriends" of ANC leaders rather than on merit.

Chauke said the former mayor looks forward to stating his case in the SCA soon.

On Friday, Mashaba said he respected the ruling and looked forward to the appeal.

"I will continue to be represented by advocate Dali Mpofu on this matter," Mashaba added.

Mashaba added that Tau had been given the opportunity to retract "these disturbing comments and apologise [but] he refused to do so which resulted in me having to turn to the courts for relief".  

Read more on:    herman mashaba  |  parks tau  |  johannesburg  |  courts

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