Former president Jacob Zuma is set to face off against senior ANC member Derek Hanekom in court next week, after the former tourism minister launched an urgent defamation lawsuit against Zuma over his claims that Hanekom was an apartheid spy.
Derek Hanekom is suing Jacob Zuma for R500,000 in damages for defamation over a tweet by the former president which described Hanekom as a “known enemy agent”.
The tweet followed revelations by EFF leader Julius Malema that Hanekom and SACP deputy secretary-general Solly Mapaila had “plotted” to oust Zuma.
Zuma had earlier told the commission of inquiry into state capture that the ANC had been infiltrated by apartheid spies. He accused former Limpopo premier Ngoako Ramatlhodi and former communications minister Siphiwe Nyanda of being apartheid spies.
Hanekom however denied that he shared names with the EFF, saying he only met them and challenged them to produce an audio recording of the meeting.
He said he had no idea why Malema suddenly on Tuesday decided to make the confidential meeting public.
In a text message that was circulated widely on social media at the time, Hanekom said it was no secret that there was a number of discussions with opposition parties to force Zuma out.
“I had coffee with Godrich Gardee (EFF’s secretary general) twice at the Eastgate Mugg and Bean. Maybe even three times. I did not give him a list of ANC names nor did I say that Pravin and I were discussing the formation of a new party,” he wrote to the SABC.
“No, this had nothing to do with forming any party. There is nothing to explain. There is nothing wrong with members of different parties meet(ing) with each other. He (Malema) initiated it,” Hanekom said in response.
Earlier this month Zuma told the Zondo Commission inquiry into state capture about an alleged decades-long campaign of character assassination in an attempt to “get rid” of him.
“Some say this old man is angry,” he said at the time. “All I’m saying is people must be very careful. When I say, I will say things about them – I mean it.”
He warned his detractors that he would reveal information about more “spies” in the ruling party, after claiming his former Cabinet ministers Siphiwe Nyanda and Ngoako Ramatlhodi were double agents in the apartheid-era.
“They will think I am mad when I reveal them one by one,” he told the commission.