Carien du Plessis vs Floyd Shivambu: The settlement

ANCYL national spokesperson apologises to journalist for referring to her as a "white bitch"



CASE NO 0112011 EQ 

In the matter between: 





1. The parties hereby agree that the following apology is issued by the Respondent to the Complainant:

I hereby admit that on 18 May 2010 at 18:45 I sent an SMS to Canon du Plessis, while she was a journalist at the Independent Newspapers Group, in which I stated: "You must learn to respect people. I don't communicate YCL issues and please stop being stupid". I further admit that on 18 May 2012 at 18.52 I sent another SMS to Carien du Plessis in which I stated: "I wouldn't want to earn respect from white bitches.... So dream on" These SMSes were sent in an exchange during which Du Plessis was trying to establish whether the Young Communist League had in formed me about my disciplinary hearing.

I want to apologise unconditionally for referring to Du Plessis, as "stupid" and "white bitch" in these SMSes. Not only was it unprofessional of me to respond in such a way, I also accept that she experienced it as an affront to her dignity as a fellow human being and as a woman. As a spokesperson for the ANC Youth League at the time, I should have known better than to humiliate and degrade journalists when they asked me for information. I accept that, as a spokesperson, I perform a service of informing the public, and my behaviour could have the effect of limiting the free flow of information, which in turn affects freedom of speech, a principle the ANC has fought hard for. 

As a citizen of this country, I also accept that the ANC has fought hard to establish a society on the principles of non-racism and non-sexism, also now enshrined in the Constitution of the country. My behaviour went contrary to that spirit and I would like to apologise for, in effect, betraying the values upon which our young democracy was founded. As a young person who is also a leader, I accept that my remarks made no positive contribution to the kind of future we would like to build in this country.

Furthermore, on behalf of myself and the ANC Youth League, I withdraw all of the defamatory allegations made explicitly or by implication about Du Plessis in the press statement of 4 Apr11 2011 shortly after our first directions hearing, and also in the affidavit I deposed to in response to the claim on 13 Apr11 2011.

2. The above apology may be published by the Complainant and the date and manner of such publication shall be determined at the Complainant's sole discretion. 

3. The Respondent shall pay the Complainant's taxed party and party costs in respect of the trial which was set down for 24 April 2012.

4. This agreement is in full and final settlement of the claim instituted under the above case number and all matters arising from the sending and receipt of the SMSs.

5. By agreement this agreement is to be made an order of the Court.

Signed at Johannesburg on 24 April 2012

Carien du Plessis

Floyd Shivambu 

Click here to sign up to receive our free daily headline email newsletter