The defamation case that ANC NEC member Derek Hanekom has brought against former President Jacob Zuma is to be heard in the Durban High Court in Durban on Friday. Zuma is expected to oppose Hanekom’s lawsuit.

Hanekom is suing Zuma for R500 000 for claiming that Hanekom was a known enemy agent.

He says he decided to file a court claim against Zuma to vindicate his dignity and hard-earned reputation.

He says Zuma’s publication of the twit constitutes unlawfulness and is demanding that the twitter post be removed.

The former minister denied ever being engaged in any spying activities on behalf of the apartheid government adding that the allegations are without any basis.

In court papers, Hanekom also plans to challenge Zuma to come up with evidence to support his allegations that he was a spy for the apartheid government.

Analysts say that this may cause deeper divisions within the ruling party which is playing itself out in the public domain and may push Zuma to disclose his sources.

Political scientist at Unisa Dirk Kotze says, “The fact the Hanekom takes former president Jacob Zuma to court is clearly an indication of what we’ve seen after the Zondo Commission, where there was a division in the ANC about it, especially those who were implicated. It may split the ANC even more than what it was in terms of the factional fault lines.

“The legal implications, as a person who’s not a lawyer, are more or less the following: It will force Zuma to reveal his sources or information and what basis did he come to the conclusion that Hanekom was a spy or worked for the apartheid government.”

Political commentator Xolani Dube says the ANC is becoming toxic.

“Their language for hatred amongst themselves is being transported into the public domain, and we need to be isolated from this as the public. To go beyond calling someone a spy, is putting someone’s life in danger. For a ‘president’ to tweet such things in the public domain and celebrate when his organization is in a corner shows that to a certain extent, anything bad that is happening in the ANC, he will celebrate because he is no longer ‘a part of the ANC.’ What are we left with if these things are happening in the governing party?”

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