EFF loses appeal application in Trevor Manuel defamation case

In March, the EFF said Sars commissioner Edward Kieswetter and Trevor Manuel were friends and have a close business relationship, but without providing evidence to this effect.

EFF leader Julius Malema addresses the media in Johannesburg on 10 April 2019. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has taken another beating in the courts, this time the High Court in Johannesburg has dismissed its application to appeal an earlier judgment that found it had made false claims against former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel.

Two months ago, the EFF accused Manuel - who sat on the panel that appointed Edward Kieswetter as the South African Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner - that he had acted unethically by not recusing himself from the process because of alleged close ties to Kieswetter.

Shortly after the elections in May, the red berets were ordered to apologise to Manuel and the court awarded him R500,000 in damages after the former finance minister made an application to have the punitive measures enforced.

The EFF's bid to appeal this ruling was scuppered on Tuesday morning.

This followed claims made in March by the party that Kieswetter and Manuel were friends and the two have a close business relationship, but without providing evidence to this effect.

This year alone, the party was forced to pay AfriForum R100,000 following legal action and more recently the court found that the eff had contravened the Electoral Code of Conduct and should pay the legal costs for veteran journalist Karima Brown after she received death threats when party leader Julius Malema published her phone number on Twitter.

The EFF was not immediately available for comment.