Former Cabinet minister and prominent ANC member Derek Hanekom is taking former president Jacob Zuma to court to the tune of R500 000 for defamation, Business Day reported.
This follows a tweet on July 25 in which Zuma referred to Hanekom as a “known enemy agent”.
The tweet came after EFF leader Julius Malema alleged that Hanekom conspired with the party to oust Zuma via a motion of no confidence in the National Assembly.
Hanekom served in Zuma’s Cabinet in various positions, the last being tourism minister, despite him being outspoken against the former president and openly voicing concerns over state capture.
According to court papers, the defamation case is set for August 21. Zuma will then have to provide evidence for his accusations.
Hanekom reportedly argued that the accusations made on Zuma’s official Twitter account had caused “immense harm and damage” to his reputation and this harm would continue as long as “this statement remained published without censure”.
— Jacob G Zuma (@PresJGZuma) July 25, 2019
The Business Day report states that Hanekom said that Zuma’s tweet insinuated that he was part of a plan hatched by the apartheid government and foreign intelligence agencies to remove Zuma as president.
Hanekom also reportedly wants the court to order Zuma to delete the tweet and then to “unconditionally withdraw his spy claim, acknowledge that it was entirely false” and apologise.
He further wants Zuma to be “interdicted from publishing any statement that says or implies” that he “is or was an enemy agent or apartheid spy”.
Hanekom also wants the court to order Zuma to tweet: “On 25 July 2019, I published a tweet which alleges that Mr Derek Hanekom is a known enemy agent. I unconditionally withdraw this allegation and apologise for making it as it is entirely false. I have no basis whatsoever for asserting that Mr Hanekom is a known enemy agent.”
The defamation suit adds to Zuma’s legal woes. In December, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ordered that he would have to pay his own legal costs which were incurred in his personal capacity in criminal cases instituted against him.
Zuma came out guns blazing when he appeared before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture in July.
Among other things, he waved around a piece of paper and said he had a list of names of presumably ANC leaders who worked as apartheid and American spies.
He also named Ngoako Ramatlhodi, the former minister of mineral resources Zuma fired and replaced with Mosebenzi Zwane, as an apartheid spy recruited in Lesotho.
“I have been provoked and provoked… and all I wanted to do was to save the ANC and the country,” Zuma told the commission.
Ramatlhodi immediately challenged Zuma to take a lie detector test.
“It will not go uncontested. He must prove it. If he is alleging it, he must prove it. I have never been a spy anywhere,” he told News24.
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Source – news24