Trevor Manuel goes to court over ‘false’ COPE claims
Former finance minister Trevor Manuel has sued political commentator JJ Tabane and a podcast host for defamation and is seeking R100,000 in damages.
Tabane claimed in a recent podcast hosted by Sbusiso “DJ Sbu” Leope that Manuel, who now chairs Old Mutual, was involved in forming the COPE party while he was a national executive committee member of the ANC.
Manuel has asked the high court to have his application heard urgently Tabane refused to apologise and withdraw his claims.
Tabane has filed notice opposing Manuel’s application.
According to the application, “The statements made about [Manuel] by [Tabane] and published by [DJ Sbu] on April 15 2022 are defamatory, false and unlawful” and the former minister is seeking:
- [Tabane and DJ Sbu] are interdicted from publishing or republishing the defamatory statements; the episode of [DJ Sbu’s] podcast published on April 15; and any statement that says or implies that [Manuel] was involved in the formation of COPE.
- Within 24 hours of the date of this order, Tabane and DJ Sbu are directed to permanently remove the defamatory statements from the episode of DJ Sbu’s podcast on whichever platform or website the episode is published, including YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.
- Within 24 hours of the date of and order being granted Tabane be directed to publish an apology that reads: “on 15 April 2022, I appeared on an episode of the podcast The Hustlers Corner SA. During the interview I alleged that Mr Trevor Manuel was involved in the formation of COPE. I unconditionally withdraw this allegation and apologise for making it. It is entirely false.”
- Within 24 hours of the date of this order DJ Sbu is directed to publish a retraction and apology that reads “on 15 April 2022, Mr JJ Tabane appeared on an episode of the podcast The Hustlers Corner SA. During the interview Mr Tabane alleged that Mr Trevor Manuel was involved in the formation of COPE. The Hustlers Corner SA unconditionally withdraws this allegation and apologises for publishing it. It is entirely false”.
- Tabane and DJ Sbu pay damages of R100,000, jointly and severally to Manuel.
- DJ Sbu and Tabane pay Manuel’s legal costs, including the costs of two counsel, an attorney and client scale.
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