EFF ordered to apologise and pay damages of R40‚000 to journalists

24 January 2020 - 12:12
By Naledi Shange
Thandeka  Gqubule-Mbeki said the EFF has tarnished her reputation.
Thandeka Gqubule-Mbeki said the EFF has tarnished her reputation.

The high court in Johannesburg on Friday ordered that the EFF apologise to SABC journalist Thandeka Gqubule and the Weekly Mail’s founder‚ Anton Harber.

The court ordered that it must issue an apology within 24 hours and pay damages of R40‚000‚ in addition to footing the journalists' bills for the legal costs.

The matter relates to the apartheid government's dirty tricks operation under Stratcom‚ short for strategic communications.

The EFF’s spokesperson‚ Mbuyiseni Ndlozi‚ had besmirched their reputations in April 2018‚ shortly after the death of ANC veteran Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

The evidence Ndlozi cited was a video clip filmed in 2017 and briefly published in April by HuffPost South Africa‚ in which Madikizela-Mandela made false accusations against Gqubule and Harber of “doing the work” of Stratcom. After the broadcast of this clip‚ Ndlozi had threatened to start revealing names if confessions were not forthcoming.

The two journalists who challenged the EFF in court had actually worked to expose Stratcom during the apartheid era. Gqubule was at the forefront of reporting on the abduction and murder of Stompie Seipei at the hands of the Mandela Football Club.

In 1997‚ the Truth and Reconciliation Commission commissioner Dumisa Ntsebeza told Madikizela-Mandela on the record that he had seen the Stratcom 40 list‚ and that the people she was accusing of being on the list were not on it as she had claimed.