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Zuma to appeal ruling on Hanekom 'enemy agent' tweet

The High Court in Durban has ordered Jacob Zuma to apologise to Derek Hanekom and delete the tweet in which he refers to him as an enemy agent.

Former President Jacob Zuma at the state capture commission on 19 July 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The High Court on Friday said former President Jacob Zuma not only defamed African National Congress (ANC) national executive committee member Derek Hanekom but he contradicted himself in numerous instances in his submissions to the court.

The High Court in Durban has ordered Zuma to apologise to Hanekom and delete the tweet in which he refers to him as an enemy agent.

After it emerged in July that Hanekom had met with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) to discuss plans to oust Zuma, the former president took to social media to make the offending post.

Judge Dhaya Pillay said while Zuma admitted that calling Hanekom a known enemy agent or an apartheid spy was defamatory, he denied that his tweet casts aspersions on the character and integrity of the former deputy minister of science and technology.

A further contradiction identified by the court was Zuma’s insistence that he appointed Hanekom as a minister in his Cabinet, despite having serious questioning about his character.

Pillay said despite being head of intelligence and fully aware of intelligence operations, Zuma did not offer a shred of evidence to support his claim that Hanekom was an apartheid spy.

She said the former president’s dismissal of Hanekom’s struggle history was not only offensive and inflammatory but also disingenuous.

Zuma has filed a notice for an application for leave to appeal.

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