EFF to appeal Trevor Manuel ruling

EFF to appeal Trevor Manuel ruling

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has confirmed the party will appeal a Johannesburg High Court ruling on the defamation case brought against them by former finance minister Trevor Manuel.

EFF rally at Orlando Stadium, Johannesburg, general elections 2019, elections
Supporters of opposition party, EFF attend a rally at Orlando Stadium, in Soweto. PHILL MAGAKOE / AFP

Manuel took legal action against the party after it had said in a statement that the appointment of South African Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Edward Kieswetter was based on nepotism.


The court ruled on Thursday that the EFF statement was unlawful and defamatory .


In the statement released in March, the EFF said that Kieswetter and Manuel were family and that the two have a close business relationship.


It came a month after Manuel headed the panel tasked with interviewing potential candidates for the post of Sars commissioner. 


EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said they have already instructed their lawyers to appeal the judgment.


 "We have already instructed our lawyers to appeal the high court judgment against us, we believe that the application of the test of free speech and defamation differs between political speech and private speech, and the test that the court applied, in this case, relates to private speech.


"We are appealing because we are not satisfied and happy as a political party, we hope that high courts will come to a different and much more reasonable conclusion," Ndlozi said. 



The EFF has been given 24 hours to retract the statement from all their media platforms and replace it with an apology. 


Manual is also entitled to damages of R500 000.

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