HomeNewsAdvocate calls SA president ‘notorious’

Advocate calls SA president ‘notorious’

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A HARARE advocate on Thursday labelled South African President Jacob Zuma a “notorious person” during the on-going defamation lawsuit against Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) by ex-Kwekwe City Council director of health Alva Senderayi who is demanding a whopping $150 000 in damages.

by CHARLES LAITON

Although Zuma had nothing to do with the court proceedings, Advocate Ray Goba called him “a notorious person” while pointing at his picture on a NewsDay page close to a story about a Seed Co manager who was alleged to have committed corruption.

Goba made the remarks, while cross-examining AMH editor-in-chief Vincent Kahiya on why his client’s story (Senderayi) had appeared on the same page with the alleged corrupt manager and the South African President.

“It was a group decision to put a story of a Seed Co manager up for corruption and a picture of this notorious person next to the story,” Goba said pointing at Zuma’s picture.

Kahiya explained to High Court judge Justice Erica Ndewere that there was no connection of the pointed picture and the manager’s story.

Justice Ndewere then sought clarification from Goba to explain who he had referred to as a notorious character, but the advocate could not repeat himself.

As if that was not enough, when Kahiya answered a question explaining that all the Kwekwe City councillors felt Senderayi’s matter was very old and should not have been brought up in the manner it had been done by the Town Clerk who was seeking to pay Senderayi his exit package, Goba brewed another shocker.

“You are saying all the councillors felt the case was old, so if Mr X who is 91 years old falls on the staircase, do you think everyone thinks he is very old?” Goba asked to which Kahiya said he could not comment.

The matter against AMH, publishers of the country’s leading daily paper, NewsDay, started sometime in 2011 when Senderayi, filed the lawsuit claiming damages over a story titled Golden handshake for former director, which was published in NewsDay on February 7.

Senderayi’s argument was that the NewsDay story had misrepresented facts by alleging he had been illegally dismissed and offered $30 000 by Kwekwe City Council as an exit package.

He also claimed he had not been dismissed from work and that the article had defamed him as a professional doctor of high standing in society.

NewsDay reporter Blessed Mhlanga had the opportunity to explain his side of the story maintaining his article was accurate.

Mhlanga said he had nothing against Senderayi, but simply wrote the story because it was of public interest.

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