mce_keep=”true”Liesl GÃƒÂ¶ttert from The Media Specialists who acts as Zuma’s spokesperson on these matters, told TheMediaOnline Zuma would no longer claim for alleged defamation ÃƒÂ¡nd injuria in these cases against the media. He would only claim for injuria.
The exception is the case against Sunday paper Rapport which came after Polokwane. In that case Zuma is still claiming R5-million for defamation and injuria following the publication of a picture with the caption “Piekniek by Dingaan” (“Picnic at Dingaan(‘s)”).
Zuma has lodged claims against Rapport, !_LT_EMThe Star!_LT_/EM, Sunday Times, 94.7 Highveld Stereo, Citizen, Sunday Sun, Sunday World and Sunday Independent, to the sum of R63-million in 2006. The latest claim against Rapport is Zuma’s 14!_LT_SUPth!_LT_/SUP claim in this series.
Following a settlement with Rapport in one of the earlier cases, 13 claims are still pending.
The amount Zuma is claiming from the media (excluding the latest R5-million claim against Rapport) has now decreased to R12-million, according to GÃƒÂ¶ttert.
She said Zuma had decided to drop the defamation component in the earlier cases because it was clear from his victory at Polokwane that the “propaganda against him” and the resulting damage to his public persona had not been “that great”. The injuria component is still, however, relevant as this is related to the damage to his dignity Ã¢Â€Â“ “a more personal thing”.
GÃƒÂ¶ttert said dropping the defamation component was “definitely Zuma’s idea”.
Zuma said in a statement he would not “hesitate to take legal action in the event of any further defamatory publications in the media”.