Journalist Anton Harber has welcomed the court ruling made against the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) as a victory for truth.
The High Court in Johannesburg has ordered the EFF and its spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi to apologise to Harber and Thandeka Gqubule for accusing the reporters of working for Stratcom.
The unit operated as the propaganda arm of the apartheid-era police.
The red berets targeted the journalists in response to a documentary done by the Huffington Post in 2018, where struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela insinuated the reporters worked against her and collaborated with Stratcom.
The journalists approached the High Court in Johannesburg for relief which Friday ruled in their favour.
It also ordered the EFF and its spokesperson to pay the reporters R40,000 each in damages.
Harber said that the judgment has set a good precedent.
“I am very pleased. It defends our name, defends journalism from attacks of this sort and I think it’s a victory for truth and for the attempts to stop public figures from making unsubstantiated, defamatory and wild statements.”
The South African National Editors’ Forum said that the ruling came as a well-deserved victory for Harber and Gqubule.
Sanef’s Hopewell Radebe: “We are very elated. We are excited about the judgment, particularly because the judge went on to order the EFF to stop calling the journalists Stratcom operatives without evidence.”