Manuel determined to fight defamation case against EFF

Former Finance minister Trevor Manuel says he is determined to defend his reputation in the defamation case against the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) according to papers from at the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein.

The EFF is challenging the High Court judgment which ordered them to pay the former minister R500 000 in damages for defamation, after party leader Julius Malema and former spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi accused Manuel of corruption and nepotism in the appointment of SARS commissioner Edward Kieswetter.

Manuel contends that Malema and Ndlozi made baseless and scurrilous allegations which were intended to impugn his character.

Manuel says he continues to suffer harm to his reputation as a result of the widespread dissemination of the EFF statement. He has rejected EFF’s defence that their initial intention was to play a whistle blowing role after it was informed by a confidential source of the alleged corruption.

He argues that no one has the right to lie because they are trying to blow the whistle or by repeating defamatory allegations. Manual added that the EFF did not take reasonable steps to verify the defamatory allegations in the SMS before the publication of the statement in question.

The matter will be heard in the Appeal Court next month.