EFF ordered to apologise to Trevor Manuel, pay R500 000 in damages

The South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg has ruled that comments made by the EFF about Trevor Manuel were "defamatory and false". 

The judgment was delivered on Thursday morning. The court ordered the EFF to, within 24 hours, remove the statements from all their media platforms and apologise to Manuel. Manuel is also entitled to damages of R500 000. 

As Fin24 previously reported, Manuel had approached the court after the the party refused to apologise for accusing him of nepotism in the process that led to the appointment of Edward Kieswetter as the new commissioner of the SA Revenue Service. 

According to the judgment, Manuel had been "injured in his dignity" by the EFF claims. 

"The apology should be ordered in addition to the sum of compensation that the respondents must pay to him. He is entitled to the punitive costs he asked for," ruled Judge J Matojane. 

Manuel was the head of a selection panel, appointed by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, tasked with interviewing potential candidates for the top job in the revenue service. The panel made recommendations but did not make the final decision. 

The EFF in March had claimed that Kieswetter was a relative of Manuel's and the two had a close business relationship, without providing evidence to support the claim.

The former finance minister and investment envoy of President Cyril Ramaphosa denied the allegations at the time, calling them "racist" and "libellous".

"I am not related to Mr Kieswetter. Nor is he my business associate," he later said in court papers.  


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