ANC 'respects Hanekom's right' to go after Zuma for 'known enemy agent' tweet

The ANC says it respects and acknowledges national executive committee (NEC) member Derek Hanekom's bid to sue its former president Jacob Zuma.

The former cabinet minister is seeking R500 000 against Zuma for defamation, following a tweet from the former president’s twitter account claiming Hanekom was a "known enemy agent".

The matter is due to be heard on August 21, where Zuma will be expected to provide evidence to support his claim.

His tweet was in response to claims made by EFF leader Julius Malema that Hanekom conspired with their party to have Zuma removed, through a motion of no confidence in the National Assembly in 2017.

Hanekom argued that the accusations made on Zuma's official Twitter account had caused "immense harm and damage" to his reputation and this harm would continue as long as "this statement remained published without censure".

ANC acting spokesperson Dakota Legoete told News24 the party noted the media reports regarding the matter.

"The ANC is not party to this lawsuit. In keeping with the ANC's respect for the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, we respect and acknowledge Cde Hanekom's right to approach the courts," said Legoete.

At the same time, Legoete reiterated the ANC’s support of the commission of inquiry into state capture, led by deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

Zuma appeared before the commission and alleged that numerous ANC leaders, who also served as ministers including Hanekom, Ngoako Ramathlodi and Siphiwe Nyanda were spies.

He has been taken to task by some ANC veterans over the claims, including his former spokesperson Mac Maharaj, who has thrown his weight behind Hanekom's bid to sue Zuma.

"We continue to urge every ANC member who has any information that can assist the work of the commission to approach the Zondo Commission," said Legoete.

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