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Zuma ordered to remove Hanekom tweet and to apologise

The court ordered the former statesman to remove the tweet and publicly apologise to Derek Hanekom.

FILE: Former president Jacob Zuma at Ohlange Institute Rally in Inanda during the ANC's January 8th celebrations on 8 January 2018. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The Durban High Court has ruled that former President Jacob Zuma’s publication of a tweet alleging that African National Congress member Derek Hanekom was an enemy agent was unlawful.

The court ordered Zuma to remove the tweet and to publicly apologise to Hanekom.

Shortly after it was revealed that Hanekom had met with opposition parties to discuss a motion to remove Zuma last year, the former president tweeted that he wasn't surprised, saying that Hanekom was a known enemy agent.

Judge Dhaya Pillay found that Zuma’s tweet about Hanekom was and continued to be unlawful.

"The respondent is ordered to remove the tweet within 24 hours from all media platforms, including by deleting it from his Twitter account," she said.

Pillay ordered Zuma to publish on his Twitter account within 24 hours, the following apology: "On 25 July 2019, I published a tweet which alleges that Derek Hanekom is a known enemy agent. I unconditionally withdraw this allegation and apologise for making it as it is false."

The amount of damages to be awarded to Hanekom is still to be argued in court.

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