Former Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom has won his defamation lawsuit against former President Jacob Zuma.
The Durban High Court on Friday ordered Zuma to delete his “known enemy agent” tweet about Hanekom.
Judge Dhaya Pillay ruled that the tweet was “untrue, defamatory and unlawful.”
She ordered Zuma to publish the following apology to Hanekom on Twitter within 24 hours:
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.Durban High Court’s apology order
Pillay said the ex-president would have to pay damages, but the exact amount will be decided at a later hearing.
“Known enemy agent”
Hanekom was seeking R500,000 in damages from Zuma after the latter posted the tweet in July.
I’m not surprised by @Julius_S_Malema revelations regarding @Derek_Hanekom. It is part of the plan I mentioned at the Zondo Commission. @Derek_Hanekom is a known enemy agent.Jacob Zuma
Zuma was reacting to Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema’s claim that in 2017, Hanekom met EFF leaders to discuss removing Zuma from power.
In his court papers, Hanekom said Zuma’s claim “casts aspersions on my character and integrity.”
He denied ever being a spy for the apartheid “or for any other authority for that matter.”
In his defence, Zuma said his “enemy agent” comment only referred to how Hanekom “connived with enemies and opposition parties” to remove him as president.
[UPDATE] Zuma’s lawyers have filed leave to appeal the ruling.