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Hanekom says Zuma must pay damages over defamatory tweet

Last year, Zuma tweeted that Hanekom was a 'known enemy agent'.

FILE: Derek Hanekom pictured at the Durban High Court on 23 August 2019. Picture: EWN

DURBAN - ANC veteran Derek Hanekom said even if former President Jacob Zuma apologised for a defamatory tweet against him, he’d still want the former statesman to pay half a million rand in damages.

Last year, Zuma tweeted that Hanekom was a “known enemy agent”.

Zuma’s Constitutional Court bid to have a Durban High Court ruling on the matter overturned failed this week.

Hanekom said Zuma’s loss in the Constitutional Court was expected.

“I expected a loss from the beginning. I knew we had a very strong case. This is certainly defamatory.”

Legal experts said while Zuma is legally obliged to pay legal costs, apologise and remove the defamatory tweet against Hanekom, he could negotiate not to pay the damages.

However, Hanekom said Zuma must be taught a lesson.

“We have a good reason for putting in the damages claim. Statements like that should come with consequences.”

Zuma’s lawyer Eric Mabuza has told Eyewitness News that the former statesman will comply with the Constitutional Court ruling. However, the damages claim amount is yet to be finalised.

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