Trevor Manuel not entitled to a cent - EFF

Fighters comment on SCA ruling, says it may appeal aspects to the ConCourt


Friday, 18 December 2020

The Economic Freedom Fighters has noted the Supreme Court of Appeal judgement on the defamation case between the EFF and Trevor Manuel. We have observed the overzealous attitude of Manuel, who has essentially had a stumbling block on what his greedy heart desired, which was an excessive amount of R 500 000 to be paid to him after the EFF used free-speech and made valid commentary on a matter of public interest.

Manuel was placed under scrutiny by the EFF for his failure to substantively recuse himself in the appointment of now South African Revenue Services (SARS) Commissioner, Edward Kieswetter. In an attempt to defend a reputation that is already in the gutter, due to his association to a compromised "New Dawn" regime and the cabal that is determined to privatize the states assets, Manuel took the EFF to court, to clear his insignificant name.

The High Court having initially ruled in his favor, has now been ordered to review its decision to award Manuel the R 500 000 in damages as a result of his supposedly damaged name. This was because this decision was reached without oral evidence having been heard and as such was deemed excessive. The Supreme Court of Appeal has vindicated the position of the EFF in the case of Trevor Manuel vs EFF, on some fundamental questions of law.

Firstly, the SCA has made it clear that the High Court committed an error of law when it awarded Manuel the R 500 000. This amount was excessive and did not follow the established legal precedent on these matters. This means that the EFFs position in this regard has been upheld in full and with costs. Naysayers who have been peddling falsehoods about the "loss" of the EFF should know that this means the EFF has won this part of the case. All analysts and news outlets which have spread confusion over this judgement in an attempt to tarnish the name of the EFF most get ready to eat humble pie.

Secondly, the EFF has confirmed that the order of the High Court to issue an apology to Manuel was also a legal error. It cannot be that a party is instructed to pay damages and apologize at the same time. Again, the EFF prevailed on the issue of the apology.

Thirdly, the EFF notes that the determination of the quantum of damages, if any, has been referred to the High Court for renewed determination after oral evidence shall have been led. If Manuel does not pursue this course of action, the EFF shall do so on his behalf for the reason that we believe Manuel is not entitled to anything from the EFF.

Fourthly, a most important legal development is the recognition that our law of defamation may accommodate the defence of reasonables for political parties. This is an interesting development which will ensure that political debates can be conducted robustly, without some entities claiming defamation when they wish to police and suppress views and opinions opposed to theirs.

The EFF notes that the SCA found in favour of Manuel, the defamation argument. We are currently consulting with our Senior Counsel to advise on the prospects of an appeal to the Constitutional Court. While that appeal is pending, we do not wish any delays on the part of Manuel in taking the case to the High Court for oral evidence.

It is at the High Court that the EFF shall further display to the world why Manuel is not entitled to even a cent from this argument. No funds of the EFF shall be spent on Manuel. If he wants EFF money, he will have to fight for it in Court. Once again, this move shatters Trevor Manuel's deepest desire, which is to extract money from the EFF to give to some his fictional victims that probably constitute yet another lobby for Cyril Ramaphosa's corrupted Presidency.

The EFF will continue to observe these proceedings and relishes the opportunity for oral evidence to be heard on this matter of national concern and interest — as any possibility of the compromising of the integrity of our institutions must be placed under firm scrutiny.

Statement issued by the Economic Freedom Fighters, 20 December 2020