EFF must say sorry, court orders

The Citizen (KZN) - - Front Page - – bernadet­[email protected]­i­zen.co.za

“They con­clude that by so do­ing, Har­ber and Gqubule were party to the de­struc­tion of lives and mass mur­der of ac­tivists by the apartheid regime,” Modiba said.

She said while the state­ments ped­dled Madik­izela-Man­dela’s al­le­ga­tions against Har­ber and Gqubule as the factual truth, no ev­i­dence had been placed be­fore the court in sup­port of these al­le­ga­tions.

“[The EFF and Ndlozi] clearly did not have such ev­i­dence when they pub­lished the state­ments … They do not ex­plain why they did not ver­ify the al­le­ga­tions prior to pub­lish­ing the state­ments or even af­ter these pro­ceed­ings were in­sti­tuted,” she said.

“On the con­trary, their ver­sion be­fore this court il­lus­trates that they had no in­ten­tion of ver­i­fy­ing the al­le­ga­tions and that they had ac­cepted the al­le­ga­tions as true, as they were made by a per­son who in their view has cred­i­bil­ity as she is of a high stand­ing.

“The stand­ing of a per­son does not ab­solve them from the re­spon­si­bil­ity to back up al­le­ga­tions with ev­i­dence.”

The EFF and Ndlozi were yes­ter­day given 24 hours to re­move the state­ments in ques­tion from all their me­dia plat­forms and to is­sue an un­con­di­tional re­trac­tion and apol­ogy.

They were also in­ter­dicted from pub­lish­ing any fu­ture state­ment im­ply­ing that ei­ther Har­ber or Gqubule worked for, or col­lab­o­rated with, the apartheid govern­ment.

Har­ber and Gqubule were awarded dam­ages of R40 000 each, and Har­ber said yes­ter­day he would do­nate it to the Henry Nx­u­malo Grants for In­ves­tiga­tive Re­port­ing. The award was sig­nif­i­cantly less than the amount ini­tially sought of R500 000 each, but Har­ber said it was never about the money. “We went to court to de­fend our names and to de­fend jour­nal­ism,” he said.

Lawyers act­ing for the EFF did not re­turn The Cit­i­zen’s call yes­ter­day and it is un­clear if they will ap­peal the court’s rul­ing.

Pic­ture: AFP

Thou­sands of peo­ple demon­strate in Nantes, France, yes­ter­day as part of a na­tion­wide mul­ti­sec­tor strike against the French govern­ment’s pen­sions over­haul.

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