EFF must say sorry, court orders
“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.
Thousands of people demonstrate in Nantes, France, yesterday as part of a nationwide multisector strike against the French government’s pensions overhaul.