Tau granted leave to appeal judgment prohibiting him from making 'defamatory' statements against Mashaba

Former Joburg Mayor Parks Tau has been given the go-ahead to head to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein to stop his successor Herman Mashaba from repeating "defamatory" remarks.

In a statement issued on Friday, Mashaba said that he remained unshaken in his quest to have his predecessor "held to account for crude and shameful comments he made".

This comes after the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg granted Tau leave to appeal its judgment, which was handed down on February 8. 

The High Court had found that Tau's statements about Mashaba were defamatory and interdicted him from repeating them.

READ: Parks Tau interdicted from making defamatory comments about Mashaba

In 2016, soon after Mashaba was elected mayor, Tau was reported to have verbally attacked Mashaba at the funeral of ANC councillor Nonhlanhla Mthembu, claiming Mashaba was sexist and anti-black. Mthembu died in August 2016 after collapsing during proceedings to vote for the new mayor of the city.

Character assassination

In his judgment, Judge William Van der Linde said "the degrading aspect of the statement is so egregious that it transcends the boundaries of legitimate and fair political side-swipe". 

Van der Linde also said the comment "stretched the boundaries of legitimate political criticism into character assassination".

Mashaba said he respected the ruling and looked forward to the appeal.

"I will continue to be represented by advocate Dali Mpofu on this matter," Mashaba added.

Mashaba also said that Tau had been given the opportunity to retract "these disturbing comments and apologise [but] he refused to do so which resulted in me having to turn to the courts for relief".  

The mayor said that should he succeed in this legal matter, he will donate the proceeds of any damages award to an organisation supporting women in need in Johannesburg.

ALSO READ: Mashaba gives ANC Johannesburg deadline to retract defamatory remarks