DA wins R300k defamation case against ANCYL for ‘racist’ slur

Free State DA leader Roy Jankielsohn said he received defamatory statements from the ANCYL in 2017, after he and the DA in the province questioned a controversial honorary doctorate awarded to Ace Magashule.
Free State DA leader Roy Jankielsohn said he received defamatory statements from the ANCYL in 2017, after he and the DA in the province questioned a controversial honorary doctorate awarded to Ace Magashule.
Image: Gallo Images/Netwerk24/Felix Dlangamandla

The DA has welcomed a Bloemfontein high court judgment in a defamation case brought against the ANC Youth League in the Free State.

Judge Johann Daffue on Monday ruled in favour of DA leader in the Free State legislature Roy Jankielsohn and awarded R300,000 in damages. He further ordered the ANCYL to cover the legal costs of the suit.

The case was heard in mid-August.

Jankielsohn said he received defamatory statements from the ANCYL in 2017, after he and the DA in the province questioned a controversial honorary doctorate awarded to ANC secretary-general and former Free State premier Ace Magashule by the Turkish tertiary institution, Bahcesehir University, that year.

They said the institution had received substantial funding from the Free State government.

The ANCYL responded by referring to Jankielsohn as a “racist”, “irrelevant white supremacist”, “clown” and “political redneck”.

In his ruling, Daffue said racism was “an extremely sensitive issue” and there was “no justification for the publication of untruths”.

“It must be one of the biggest insults to accuse a politician or, for that matter, anyone else in our diverse society of being racist or a white supremacist. People are sent to jail for making racist remarks. Racism is an extremely sensitive issue.

“There is no justification for the publication of untruths. The statement was published recklessly and with indifference as to whether it was true or false.”

ANCYL spokesperson Sello Peterson told OFM News they were studying the judgment.

DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille weighed in, saying the party could “fund an entire election campaign with a few more defamation cases”.


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