Johannesburg – Former chairperson of the ANC’s disciplinary committee Derek Hanekom said on Friday he was feeling a sense of relief now that the Constitution Court ruled in confirmation that former president Jacob Zuma had defamed him.
Zuma had approached the highest court in the land to appeal a Durban High Court ruling in September last year that he should publicly apologise to the former minister for alleging that he was an enemy agent. The court had also ordered Zuma to delete the tweet in which he had made the offensive allegation, and also pay damages to Hanekom.
“It has been quite a long chapter with one appeal after the other, which affected us both.
“From the onset I felt very confident that I would win this case with the very strong and excellent legal team, but mainly because the case was so immensely winnable,” Hanekom told SABC News soon after the Constitutional Court judgement.
The Constitutional Court had concluded that Zuma, who had applied to appeal the Durban judgement, had no prospect of success.
Hanekom had lodged a R500 000 lawsuit after Zuma had tweeted “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’’.
Hanekom said Friday’s judgment had brought to the end of a “kind of a bitter and painful chapter”.
“I am relieved and certainly I am feeling good about it. It is good because justice has been done, and people, especially occupying important positions like president of the Republic of South Afric and president of the ANC, should certainly not be allowed to get away with totally unfounded statement about people’s past and statement which is highly defamatory, dangerous and very offensive,” said Hanekom.
He said the judgment was a lesson that people should be careful about what they say about others.