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Zuma plans Hanekom appeal on free speech grounds

Publish date: 09 September 2019
Issue Number: 840
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: South Africa

Former President Jacob Zuma’s lawyers are adamant that the KZN High Court (Durban) order barring him from accusing former Minister Derek Hanekom of being a ‘known enemy agent’ or ‘apartheid spy’ amounts to ‘an unconstitutional banning’ of Zuma’s right to free speech – and are fighting to appeal it on the basis that the ruling may limit his testimony before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, says a Business Day report. They say this will have a ‘chilling effect’ on his obligations to testify before the Zondo Commission, strongly suggesting that the former President intends using Hanekom’s successful legal action against him as a basis to not return to testify at the commission of inquiry. His lawyers argue that the order granted on Friday by Judge Dhaya Pillay – in favour of Hanekom’s urgent legal action against Zuma for referring to him as a ‘known enemy agent’ in a tweet – constitutes ‘an unjustified interference with the rights of (Zuma) to testify in the commission of inquiry’, notes the report.

Full Business Day report