Manuel wins defamation appeal against EFF, but won't get R500k damages yet

The Supreme Court of Appeal referred the R500 000 defamation award back to the High Court for reconsideration.

FILE: Trevor Manuel delivered the keynote address at the Archbishop Thabo Makgoba Trust Public Lecture hosted by the University of the Western Cape. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) failed in its efforts to appeal a court ruling that its leadership defamed former finance minister Trevor Manuel when it made false claims he was biased in the appointment of Edward Kieswetter as South African Revenue Services (Sars) commissioner.

The Supreme Court of Appeal on Thursday, however, overturned the awarding of R500,000 in damages to Manuel, and referred the determination of costs back to the high court for reconsideration.

READ: Accusations against Manuel a matter of principle - EFF

Manuel sued the EFF, leader Julius Malema and Member of Parliament Mbuyiseni Ndlozi after they released a statement last year calling him a "dodgy character" and accusing him of nepotism and corruption.

The party made the comments after the panel that Manuel was on recommended the appointment of Kieswetter - , an appointment the EFF said was based on nepotism.

READ: Manuel's lawyers want R500k from EFF over Kieswetter statement

In the 2019 ruling, the red berets have were ordered to remove statements from all their media platforms and apologise within 24 hours.

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