What Zuma said about Hanekom matter of interpretation: Winks

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Independent advocate Ben Winks says what the former President Jacob Zuma said about the African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee member Derek Hanekom is likely to be a matter of interpretation in court.

Hanekom, is suing Zuma for R 500 000 for alleging that he was a known enemy agent in a defamation case which will be heard in the High Court in Durban on Friday.

Hanekom served in Zuma’s cabinet in various positions, the last being Tourism minister, despite being outspoken against the former President and openly voicing concerns over state capture.

Winks says Zuma will need to prove that he did not defame Hanekom.

“In the first hurdle you come up against is that you have to show that it’s defamatory. That then is the question for the court to decide. Objectively speaking whether the statement lowers the esteem in which the general community would hold that person. In this case we’re dealing with a statement that he’s a known enemy agent and this is what I was talking about at the State Capture Commission. Now, what’s very interesting about Zuma’s answering is saying I didn’t mean you’re an apartheid spy. I may have been talking about an apartheid spy at the State Capture Commission but I never mentioned your name.”