Settlement reached in Shivambu hate speech trial
He said sorry - but refused to shake on it
Suspended ANCYL spokesman Floyd Shivambu and journalist Carien du Plessis reached a settlement agreement on Tuesday in a case of hate speech before the Johannesburg Equality Court.
The parties signed the settlement, which included an admission and apology by Shivambu.
Du Plessis said: “I am glad he has apologised and relieved that it’s come to an end. It is a vindication for the profession of journalism”.
A journalist asked Shivambu if he would shake Du Plessis’s hand for a photo opportunity, but he declined.
Du Plessis brought hate speech charges against Shivambu after an SMS exchange between them in May 2010.
In the SMS he wrote: “...Please stop being stupid... I wouldn’t want to earn respect from white bitches... so dream on”.
Du Plessis was suing for R100,000 in damages, but the settlement had no monetary component.
Within moments of the magistrate announcing that the settlement had been reached, Shivambu issued a statement on the matter.
“I signed the settlement because I did not deem it valuable to continue with court cases that have no bearing or influence in the struggle for economic freedom in our lifetime,” he said.
“My legal representatives advised that I sign the settlement agreement, and I complied because the court proceedings are a waste of time on a non-issue.”
The court previously ruled that Shivambu pay Du Plessis’ legal costs, amounting to R18,000, because it appeared he had tried to stall proceedings by asking for postponements when they were unwarranted.
This was one of three cost orders against Shivambu in this matter, and he had so far failed to pay.
“This matter will not benefit from any postponement.”
Shivambu appeared in court wearing a black leather trench coat.
During proceedings he played with his tablet computer, and occasionally whispered to his legal team.
Earlier this month, Shivambu was found guilty by the ANC’s National Disciplinary Committee of sowing division and bringing the party into disrepute. He was suspended from the ANC for three years for swearing at a journalist and for issuing a statement calling for a change of government in Botswana.