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Trevor Manuel takes JJ Tabane and DJ Sbu to court over Cope claims

Former minister says duo defamed him and must apologise, pay R100k damages

Former minister of finance Trevor Manuel. File image.
Former minister of finance Trevor Manuel. File image.
Image: Esa Alexander

Former finance minister Trevor Manuel is not backing down in his battle with TV host and political commentator JJ Tabane.

The two have been at loggerheads for weeks over claims made by Tabane in a podcast hosted by Sbusiso “DJ Sbu” Leope.

Tabane claimed Manuel was involved in the formation of ANC splinter party Cope while he was a national executive committee member of the governing party.

Manuel has applied to the Johannesburg high court, seeking an order to force Tabane and DJ Sbu to retract the claims unconditionally.

The Old Mutual board chairperson also wants the duo to jointly pay him R100,000 in damages for defamation.

Manuel wants his application heard on an urgent basis after Tabane refused to apologise and withdraw his claims.

The court, submitted Manuel, must order that his demands be met within 24 hours of the ruling in the event it favours him.

The order, according to Manuel’s notice of motion, must demand the following from Tabane and DJ Sbu:

  • The statements made about [Manuel] by [Tabane] and published by [DJ Sbu] on April 15 2022 are defamatory, false and unlawful.
  • [Tabane and DJ Sbu] are interdicted from publishing or republishing the defamatory statements; the episode of [DJ Sbu’s] podcast published on 15 April 15; and any statement that says or implies that [Manuel] was involved in the formation of Cope.
  • Within 24 hours of the date of this order, Tabane and DJ Sbu are directed to permanently remove the defamatory statements from the episode of DJ Sbu’s podcast on whichever platform or website the episode is published on, including YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.
  • Within 24 hours of the date of this order Tabane is directed to publish an apology that reads “on 15 April 2022, I appeared on an episode of the podcast The Hustlers Corner SA. During the interview I alleged that Mr Trevor Manuel was involved in the formation of Cope. I unconditionally withdraw this allegation and apologise for making it. It is entirely false.”
  • Within 24 hours of the date of this order DJ Sbu is directed to publish a retraction and apology that reads “on 15 April 2022, Mr JJ Tabane appeared on an episode of the podcast The Hustlers Corner SA. During the interview Mr Tabane alleged that Mr Trevor Manuel was involved in the formation of Cope. The Hustlers' Corner SA unconditionally withdraws this allegation and apologises for publishing it. It is entirely false”.
  • Tabane and DJ Sbu are directed to pay damages of R100,000; jointly and severally to Manuel.
  • DJ Sbu and Tabane are ordered to pay Manuel’s legal costs, including the costs of two counsel, an attorney and client scale.

Tabane has filed a notice notifying the court that he will oppose Manuel’s application.  

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