Zuma welcomes United Kingdom court ruling

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has welcomed the judgment in the matter of Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma vs. the Guardian News and Media Limited, heard in the High Court of Justice Queen's bench division, in the United Kingdom.

The Guardian newspaper published an article in March this year, which suggested that president Zuma was guilty of rape, corruption and bribery.

The President instituted legal action against the paper, saying the article was defamatory and contained factual inaccuracies.

According to a statement issued by the Presidency, President Zuma believes that the allegations reported by the newspaper were extremely offensive to him and the ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC).

"The President firmly believes in the freedom of the press as he has fought hard for freedom of expression and other basic rights during the struggle against apartheid," said the statement.

In this matter, the Guardian Newspaper disregarded the basic principles of Journalism and media ethics.

Both parties have agreed to the damages amount and a public apology and consider the matter as concluded.

The Presidency further said that the case was a good example to remind the media worldwide of an obligation to exercise press freedom in a responsible manner.