Newspapers want Zuma to drop claims

2012-10-30 19:50

Johannesburg - Two newspapers want President Jacob Zuma to withdraw three damages claims of R5m each against them, their lawyer Willem de Klerk said on Tuesday.

"For all these years my clients have been suffering under this cloud of a multi-million rand defamation claim hovering over them," he said.

"It is not moving forward and it is not being resolved and this is certainly far from ideal. Either he withdraws and tenders wasted costs, or he moves on."

De Klerk is defending The Sunday Sun and Rapport, both part of the Media24 group.

Zuma spokesperson Mac Maharaj said on Tuesday he did not immediately know how many other cases similar to the Zapiro case Zuma was running against the media, but he was finding out.

After four years Zuma withdrew a claim that was originally R5 million against cartoonist Jonathan "Zapiro" Shapiro and the Sunday Times on Monday.

De Klerk said Zuma had been "in default of the court rules and has been for months".

He alleged that requests, specifically regarding discovery, were "completely ignored".

De Klerk explained that to "discover" was to inform the other side of documents they had relating to the claims.

"A fundamental part of a civil legal action is the disclosure of documents in your possession, so these matters are stuck," said De Klerk.

"He institutes, we defend. We then exchange court documents calling on each other to do things, and he simply ignores all those court documents and notices.

"He is a plaintiff who is non-compliant with the court rules and as such it hampers us."

De Klerk said three separate cases were at issue.

One was a cartoon in the Sunday Sun by Mvuyisi Wilber Mfebe (filed in 2007), and the other a photograph of Leon Schuster and Steve Hofmeyr, captioned "Picnic with Dingane" (filed in 2010).

The third case related to an allegation that Zuma's former financial adviser, Schabir Shaik, arranged a prostitute for him (filed 2008).

De Klerk said he had been informed recently by the counsel handling this particular batch of litigation for Zuma that she had withdrawn. New counsel was yet to be appointed.

He said that in the papers of 2007 and 2008 Zuma described himself as a "politician" and in the third in 2010, he described himself as the President of the Republic.

Beeld reported on Tuesday that other cases still running were:

- R7m from Primedia relating to a Darren Simpson parody "My name is Zuma";

- R5m from The Citizen for an article by Paul Kirk alleging Zuma used a prostitute arranged by Shaik;

- R16m from Rapport for a reader's letter which claimed Zuma was a "rapist who must be punished". That case was settled;

- R16m from Independent Newspapers relating to Zuma's rape case, two cartoons in The Star where he has his fingers crossed while testifying in court, and a report in The Star titled "ANC gags Zuma".

- R6m from then Johncom Media for two articles by former Sunday Times columnist David Bullard. Bullard has since apologised.

Yusuf Dockrat, who dealt with the withdrawal of the Zapiro and Sunday Times case on Monday on Zuma's behalf, asked that further queries be made to Maharaj.

*News24 is part of, a subsidiary of Media24, which is in the Naspers stable.

  • rodney.bevan.58 - 2012-10-30 19:54

    Zuma will roll over and play dead if you ask him nicely enough. Remember, Mangaung is around the corner, he won't be wanting this over his head as it makes him look like a dictator, trying to silence the opposition by any means necessary doesn't look good at the ballot box.

      rbphiri - 2012-10-30 20:11

      Salutation earthlings I'm some dauchebag spokesman from the presidency, the president has stated that he will not drop the charges since he needs the R10m for a toilet in he's Nklanda mansion...

      charlesbronson.bronson - 2012-10-30 20:23

      He can only drop his pants!

      joshua.mcallister.75 - 2012-10-30 20:45

      Couldn't say it beter Rodney...

      donovan.jackson.37 - 2012-10-30 21:27

      Heh, looks like ole Zipper 783 has gone ahead and established a precedent with the Zapiro case anyway.

      beverly.young3 - 2012-10-30 22:19

      Oh I saw an article on the M & G website that says he is dropping all suits to the tune of R15 million, so this must be the cases ne?

      heinrich.etsebeth - 2012-10-31 06:34

      @Yaya: 15mil is nothing. The cases listed in the article is standing at 50mil.

  • kim.buren - 2012-10-30 20:00

    Just another unethical way of fulling his pockets. Take it like a man Zuma. What the media say about you is the truth

      chris.braum - 2012-10-31 02:19

      Whatever Zuma is or is not, it's a fallacy to believe that what the media might say is the truth. Like the bible punchers who take a phrase from the bible to prove their point, so the media usually quote out of context. I say usually because once this is done often enough, nothing published can be accepted as fact. Zuma should continue continue his action; being hurt in the pocket is the only way the media will give us "freedom of the truth"

  • mbambo.shi - 2012-10-30 20:10

    Zuma, the truth will set you free. I couldn't puzzle the facts better than Rodney Bevan.

  • trevor.pietersen.3 - 2012-10-30 20:19

    PEE/SHOWER BRAIN......can't even remember who he put claims about...he just wants wives and kids....."if they HIS"

  • John - 2012-10-30 20:23

    ZOOMER knows full well that his claims will fail! He is just dictatorially attempting to silence his critics! By threats! How much of this nonsense is he paying for?

      John - 2012-10-30 22:44

      Now we know why he needed an extra R20m for legal fees

  • sihlangu.hokweni - 2012-10-30 20:27

    The Man is a law unto himself

  • tiaan.vanderberg.75 - 2012-10-30 20:29

    Hey mr Momasedi, in the light of your article on the great leadership that the Prez showed in dropping the case against Zapiro in the name of freedom of speech, dont you think you should phone him and inform him that new opportunities to show his caracter as leader is knocking. Or does he think his changes are better here and there is no need to be so gracious.

      Hasani P - 2012-10-30 21:21

      This is enough to get one vertiginous. If u withdraw u will be declared a vexatious litigant. Mr. President if u still have a vestige of love for the well being of those who voted for the ANC just tell us the truth of what is going on up there.

  • hitting.thefan - 2012-10-30 20:55

    This is a sick president indeed!!!!!

  • PETESKEAT - 2012-10-30 20:58

    Play his bluff. He'd lose, pants down.

  • johan.monnig - 2012-10-30 21:09

    It seems strange that zuma would claim R5m from The Citizen for an article alleging him of prostitution and R7m for a gag by whackhead simpson. Reminds me of poker bluffs... hope i don't get sued for this post

  • buti.lembe - 2012-10-30 21:10

    Zuma, what kind of PRESIDENT are you? waiting for people to tell you what you must do or not.

  • brad.ken.18 - 2012-10-30 21:12

    Share it to friends and intellectualists, worldwide!

  • muke.matshaba - 2012-10-30 21:22

    Record breaker on everything indeed,come 30th november so juju could spit more fire on him.

      xs.xolani - 2012-10-30 23:32

      as we know that as changable as weather nobody who is trusted

  • Teuneman - 2012-10-30 21:50

    I see a couple of shots in the dark to score a couple of million bucks.

  • nieumelissa - 2012-10-30 21:51

    Zuma just want money and more money...

  • gerrit.vanpletzen - 2012-10-31 04:06

    Now we know why the presidency needs so much money for legal matters. It only has to do with enriching the corrupt bastard, and the tax payers must provide the funds.He is too stupid to realise that his whole existence is an offence to decency.

  • cordiergreen - 2012-10-31 07:18

    I have no respect for this so called president of ours, his a joke.....

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-10-31 14:58

    This is how Zuma wanted to finance all that exclusive work to his kingdom. But when he found a department ready to roll over and give him the money, he realized he doesn't need court cases anymore. Shapiro's case has been dropped and the others will follow, just as soon as dear Maharaj can come up with a plausable story. What a bunch of idiots, rich as they are.

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