Jacob Zuma’s Hanekom ‘enemy agent’ tweet not removed despite court ruling

Johannesburg – Former president Jacob Zuma’s tweet that accused former Tourism minister Derek Hanekom of being an enemy agent has not been deleted despite last month’s court ruling ordering him to remove it with immediate effect. 

Judge Dhaya Pillay had on September 6 described the tweet as unlawful and ordered Zuma to remove it within 24 hours. 

"The respondent is ordered to remove the tweet within 24 hours from all media platforms, including by deleting it from his Twitter account," she said.

However, on Zuma’s Twitter feed, the comment is still there and had generated more than 2 000 comments, 3 300 retweets and 7 200 likes.

Zuma had on July 25 tweeted that: “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.”

Independent Media had reported that Zuma’s tweet was in reaction to EFF leader Julius Malema’s tweet that Hanekom had met privately with the party’s secretary-general Godrich Gardee to discuss ousting Zuma as president in a parliamentary vote of no confidence. 

It was reported that Hanekom had filed an application in court seeking an order as the Tweet posted about him by Zuma was “defamatory and false”, that the former president should be ordered to remove the statement from all platforms within 24 hours, and apologise on Twitter and retract and denounce the damaging tweet as false within 24 hours of a judgment being handed down.

An official at the Chief Justice’s office who asked to remain anonymous, said failure to comply with the court order did not automatically lead to a criminal offence although it can be viewed as contempt of court. 

“If the order is not complied with it is for the other party to go back to court to seek that such order should be enforced because it is in the interest of somebody who is aggrieved to see to it that the court order is enforced. 

Zuma’s spokesperson Vukile Mathabela said he would established from lawyers if Zuma had apologised to Hanekom. 

Political Bureau

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