Schillings Client Jacob Zuma Awarded Damages And Apology From
on: July 31, 2009, 4:57 am
Author: Christopher Mills
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.
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.
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
from Mahlambandlovu last night, the president’s official
residence in Pretoria, President Zuma said: "What was said
was extremely serious, not just for me but for the ANC. I am very
pleased that the Guardian has now apologised. I firmly believe
in press freedom and freedom of expression. I have fought for
these and other basic rights my whole life and I will continue
to support this. We had to take action in this matter because
the publication crossed the line. Media around the world are obliged
to exercise their freedom of speech in a responsible manner."
Schillings is one of Britain's top law firms dedicated to reputation
management and the safeguarding of international corporations,
brands, celebrities and high-profile business people. The firm's
track-record in media
management, privacy law and copyright cases, as well as commercial
dispute resolution and sports law is second to none.
privacy and copyright are at the heart of the firm's work, prompting
The Independent newspaper to call Schillings a "spectacularly
efficient media law firm".
clients include supermodel Naomi Campbell, actress Kate Winslet,
seven times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, premiership
footballer Wayne Rooney, Harry Potter author JK Rowling, pharmaceuticals
maker GlaxoSmithKline, steel maker Arcelor Mittal, the Harrods
Group and the London Stock Exchange.
Court case number: HQ09X01290
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