Zuma withdraws defamation cases - Presidency

Mac Maharaj says President's decision informed by broader agenda of reconciliation and nation-building (May 31)

Withdrawal of defamation cases by President Zuma

31 May 2013

During the period 2006 - 2010, President Jacob Zuma instituted legal claims against various Media Groups as well as individuals associated with such media groups.

These claims were based on material published either in the form of cartoons or articles which in the Presidents view were defamatory and calculated to bring his good name, and in some instances the Office of the President into disrepute.

Moreover, the President further held the view that the published material objected to, in some instances, sought to cast African males in a particularly negative light with bigoted and racist overtones and innuendo.

In consultation with his legal team, President Zuma has elected to withdraw his claims against the various entities and in so doing bring these matters to a close, mindful as he is that much of the litigation commenced before the President assumed office.

This consideration was informed by the broader agenda of reconciliation and nation building which the President leads in Government. Equally, the President is committed to redressing prejudice and inequality through government-led programmes and forging better working relationships with like-minded interest groups committed to this end.

The President feels that measured as against the broader nation interest and challenges which the country is faced with, his personal sentiments, however aggrieved he may feel, must give way.

Statement issued by Mac Maharaj, The Presidency, May 31 2013


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