Released on: July 31, 2009, 4:57 am
Author: Christopher Mills
Schillings client Jacob Zuma, the president of South Africa, has won very substantial damages after a libel case against the Guardian newspaper following false allegations printed earlier this year.
On 6 March 2009, the Manchester based newspaper published an article that falsely claimed that President Zuma was guilty of rape, corruption and bribery. President Zuma began legal action against the daily newspaper earlier this year claiming defamation, saying the article was grossly false and indefensible.
After being taken to court, the Guardian has apologised to the ANC leader and agreed to pay very substantial damages as well as cover legal costs.
In a statement read in the High Court on 30 July 2009, Schillings solicitor Jenny Afia described the allegations as being “of the utmost seriousness and totally untrue”. She went on to explain that: “In light of the facts that the [Guardian] is now willing to pay very substantial damages and it has publicly apologised to [President Zuma], [President Zuma] considers that his reputation in this matter has been entirely vindicated and he is prepared not to proceed any further in his action against the [Guardian].”