Parks Tau interdicted to make defamatory comments & # 39; about Mashaba



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Former Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau has been barred from making "defamatory" comments about current Mayor Herman Mashaba with a Supreme Court judge ruling Friday that Tau's comments go beyond what could be considered a comment fair.

Judge Willem Van der Linde of the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg ruled that Tau's comments in August 2016 that Mashaba believed that women had to sleep with men to become senior executives were defamatory. He also chided Tau for saying that Mashaba wished he was not black.

The interdict is part of a defamation action brought by Mashaba against Tau because of these comments. The defamation application will be heard at a later date. Mashaba is claiming $ 2 million in damages, which he has promised to donate to an organization that supports vulnerable and abused women.

Tau was ordered to pay the costs of the interdiction request and Mashaba said that that amount will also be paid to an organization that supports women. Mashaba said he asked the Department of Social Development in the city of Johannesburg to help him find a suitable organization.

On 28 August 2016, at the funeral of the ANC advisor, Nonhlanhla Mthembu, Tau said:

"The city of Johannesburg is now headed by a man who believes that women who are senior executives prostitute themselves to be in the jobs they are in. He says that, in fact, for them to gain the positions they are in. sleep with the lead … "

Van der Linde said the comment was defamatory and that "the degrading aspect of the statement is so scandalous that it transcends the borders of legitimate and fair political slippage."

He also said that the commentary "extended the boundaries of legitimate political criticism to character assassination."

Tau also said: "We heard opinions from Mayor Herman Mashaba, who says that if he really depended on him, he would not want to be black. To assert from a person with a black cultural loyalty that he denies his blackness is to affirm that he betrays the shared suffering of the members of that community. That is to say that he has turned his back and is a traitor. "

Van der Linde also said that these observations do not follow the rule of fair comment.

"If there is still any limit to freedom of expression, it seems to me that it must be at the interface with the painful history suffered by some," he said.

Mashaba said the comments resulted in protests from the ANC Women's League, out of their offices, and "discredited my hard work and reputation".

"Instead of being able to continue the mandate given to our multiparty government by the residents of Johannesburg, I found myself constantly refuting these unfounded allegations.

"It is no doubt that the ANC did not accept that the residents of Johannesburg no longer rely on leading our city. Instead of dealing with facts, they continually resorted to character assassination in an attempt to discredit this administration," he said. .

"Parks Tau had the opportunity to portray these disturbing comments and apologize. However, he refused to do so, which resulted in me having to go to court to obtain relief.I would like to thank my legal team led by the lawyer Dali Mpofu for helping ensure that justice is maintained, "Mashaba said.

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