Kaunda Selisho
Lifestyle Journalist
1 minute read
3 Jun 2019
4:14 pm

EFF files appeal against R500K Trevor Manuel defamation ruling

Kaunda Selisho

The party is also seeking costs if it wins its appeal.

Julius Malema speaks at a media briefing in Braamfontein, 10 April 2019. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Following a high court ruling which ordered the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) to apologise and pay damages to former finance minister Trevor Manuel for claims made against him by the party on social media, the EFF has filed an appeal with costs against the appeal.

The party, its leader and its spokesperson were ordered to pay Manuel R500,000 in damages.

The court ordered on Thursday that the red berets must, within 24 hours, also remove the statements about Manuel from all the party’s media platforms.

The respondents, the party as the first, EFF spokesperson Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi as second, and Malema as the third respondent, were interdicted by the court “from publishing any statement that says or implies that Manuel “is engaged in corruption and nepotism in the selection of the Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service”.

“The respondents are ordered jointly and severally to pay damages of R500,000 to the applicant (Manuel),” the judgment read.

Manuel indicated that he would donate the R500,000 to charity.

According to Fin24, the party filed papers at the high court on Friday and their case was “broadly centred on constitutional rights, such as freedom of expression and professional ethics in the public administration”.

The EFF maintains that the judge’s finding regarding its statements curtails the right to free speech and sets “a dangerous precedent”.

“To outlaw such speech by means of defamation impermissibly erodes the protections afforded to persons in terms of section 16 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa,” said the party in its papers.

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