Zuma and Guardian settle libel case

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma yesterday welcomed the settlement in the UK's high court of justice, queen's bench division, between himself and the Guardian newspaper.

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma yesterday welcomed the settlement in the UK's high court of justice, queen's bench division, between himself and the Guardian newspaper.

Zuma believed the allegations reported by the newspaper were extremely offensive to him and the ruling party, the presidency said in a statement.

"The president firmly believes in the freedom of the press as he has fought hard for freedom of expression and other basic rights during the struggle against apartheid.

"In this matter, the Guardian newspaper disregarded the basic principles of journalism and media ethics.

"Both parties have agreed to the damages amount and a public apology and consider the matter as concluded," the presidency said.

The settlement was reached three months after Zuma sued the Guardian for defamation over an article that described his leadership style as "morally contaminated".

"There was a settlement," said Hayley Dunlop from the British newspaper, but could not give the amount paid to Zuma in damages.

Zuma rejected an initial offer of £10000 (R128500). Zuma had sued the newspaper in April after it published an article by reporter Simon Jenkins under the headline "Get used to a corrupt and chaotic South Africa. But don't write it off".

The newspaper later apologise to the president, saying it regretted suggesting he was guilty of rape. - Sapa

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