Publication: Sunday Times Issued: Date: 2007-04-01 Reporter: Shanthini Naidoo Reporter:

Zuma Sues for R6m for ‘Stupid, Dishonest’ Slur



Sunday Times




Shanthini Naidoo

Web Link


Jacob Zuma is suing the Sunday Times for R6-million after columnist David Bullard called him “stupid” and “dishonest” in print.

Zuma’s lawyers sent the newspaper letters of demand last year for damages arising from two of Bullard’s Out to Lunch columns, and this week served summons.

The columns, “Stupidity a mitigating circumstance for Zuma”, published on April 16 2006, and “Visit the Zuma website to see what was meant” (May 7 2006), are behind the lawsuits.

Zuma wants R3-million for defamation and “impairment of his dignity” for each column .

The columns dealt with Zuma’s rape trial last year, in which he was acquitted. Zuma claims he was unfairly accused of being “dishonest” and in favour of the abuse of women.

Bullard wrote that Zuma could offer stupidity in mitigation of his alleged crime . He said that, due to Zuma’s “lack of education and rural background”, it would not surprise people if they were to hear that he had “rubbed his entire body with the fat of a recently slaughtered Nguni bull as protection against sexual disease, bullets, legal action and adverse media comment”.

The summons says this made Zuma appear “unintelligent, slow-witted or foolish”. The Sunday Times is defending the action.

With acknowledgements to Shanthini Naidoo and Sunday Times.