Derek Hanekom to sue Jacob Zuma for R500,000 over 'enemy agent' tweet

13 August 2019 - 12:01 By TimesLIVE
Derek Hanekom says the tweet caused 'immense harm and damage' to his reputation.
Derek Hanekom says the tweet caused 'immense harm and damage' to his reputation.
Image: Russell Roberts

Derek Hanekom is suing Jacob Zuma for R500,000 in damages for defamation over a tweet by the former president which described Hanekom as a “known enemy agent”.

“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,” said a post on Zuma’s Twitter account in July.

The tweet followed revelations by EFF leader Julius Malema that Hanekom and SACP deputy secretary-general Solly Mapaila had "plotted" to oust Zuma.

Zuma had earlier told the commission of inquiry into state capture that the ANC had been infiltrated by apartheid spies. He accused former Limpopo premier Ngoako Ramatlhodi and former communications minister Siphiwe Nyanda of being apartheid spies.

Business Day reported on Tuesday that the defamation case had been set down for August 21. Hanekom said the tweet had caused “immense harm and damage” to his reputation and implied that he was involved in a plot involving foreign intelligence agencies to remove Zuma as president.

TimesLIVE reported in July that Zuma had made the comments about Hanekom on Twitter after Malema disclosed that the former minister and ANC national executive committee (NEC) member had “worked with” the EFF to remove him as president.

Malema also claimed that Hanekom was planning to form a new political party. “He even told us that if NDZ [Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma] wins [during the 2017 ANC leadership battle], they are forming a new political party.”

Hanekom later confirmed having met EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee, but said there was nothing wrong with two members of parliament talking.

“People of different parties have coffee with each other all at time. He is making something big out of nothing,” he said.

In addition to seeking R500,000 in damages, Hanekom is also asking the high court to make an order compelling Zuma to "unconditionally withdraw" the "enemy agent" comment and apologise for it on Twitter. 

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