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ANC might appeal DA SMS verdict

The ANC says the judge applied the wrong law while settling the DA Nkandla SMS issue.

FILE: DA demonstrators gather outside the High Court in Johannesburg. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The ANC may announce this week whether it will appeal a court judgment in its SMS battle against the Democratic Alliance (DA) which saw a court analyse and comment on Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's damning Nkandla report.

On Friday, the High Court in Johannesburg ruled the DA was justified in sending an SMS accusing President Jacob Zuma of stealing public money.

Madonsela's report found that Zuma benefitted unduly from the R250 million upgrades at his home, violated an ethics code, must account to Parliament and pay back some of the money.

Picture: EWN.

The ANC is on record saying it believes acting Judge Mike Hellens applied the wrong law while settling a dispute between South Africa's two largest political parties.

He was called on to determine whether the DA's SMS had violated the Electoral Act, but instead tested whether the message constituted fair comment given the findings of the Nkandla report.

Hellens found that Madonsela's decision to use the phrase "license to loot" justified the DA's use of the word "stole".

He also discussed South Africa's democracy and the need for accountability, freedom of expression and the country's robust political scene.

To read the full judgement click here.

Video: DA and ANC battle in court over Nkandla SMS.