Decision to grant Tau leave to appeal respected – Herman Mashaba

Joburg Mayor says he trusts that justice will prevail and his predecessor will be held to account

Mayor Mashaba respects decision of High Court granting Tau leave to appeal

15 March 2019

I have noted the decision of Judge Van der Linde to grant Parks Tau leave to appeal the High Court judgment and order handed down on 8 February 2019.

I respect the decision of the High Court and I look forward to this matter being heard by the Supreme Court of Appeal. I will continue to be represented by Adv Dali Mpofu on this matter.

I trust that justice will prevail and Parks Tau will be held to account for crude and shameful comments he made alleging I was sexist and anti-black.

The High Court had previously declared that statements made by Tau were defamatory and interdicted the former mayor from repeating them.

In his scathing judgement, Judge Van der Linde held that the comment, “stretched the boundaries of legitimate political criticism into character assassination”.

On 28 August 2016, at the funeral of the late ANC Councillor, Nonhlanhla Mthembu, Parks Tau tastelessly took advantage of the opportunity for cheap politicking and stated:

The City of Joburg is today led by a man who believes that the women who are senior executives prostituted themselves to be in the jobs they are in. He says that in fact for them for them to earn the positions they are in they had to sleep with the leadership…”

Judge Van der Linde held that, “the degrading aspect of the statement is so egregious that it transcends the boundaries of legitimate and fair political side-swipe.”

Tau was also slammed for making the following defamatory remarks against me: “We have heard views from the Mayor Herman Mashaba who says that in fact if it were up to him he would not want to be black.

Van der Linde stated that, “To assert of a person with a black cultural allegiance that he denies his blackness, is to assert that he betrays the shared suffering of the members of that community. That is to assert of a person that he has turned his back on his own, and is a traitor.”

Judge Van der Linde when on to state, “If there is still to be any limit at all to freedom of expression, it seems to me that it must lie at the interface with the hurtful history suffered by some.

Parks Tau was given the opportunity to retract these disturbing comments and apologise. However, he refused to do so which resulted in me having to turn to the courts for relief.

It is of little surprise that the ANC continue to defend the comments made by Tau. At the end of the day, such comments form part of the cheap politicking strategy of the ANC who have continuously resorted to character assassination in an attempt to discredit this administration.

As previously committed, should I succeed in this legal matter, I will donate the proceeds of any damages award to an organisation supporting women in need in Johannesburg.

Issued by Luyanda Mfeka, Director, Mayoral Communications, Office of the Executive Mayor, 15 March 2019