By STAFF REPORTER
The Makana Municipality has been ordered to issue a written apology to the Unemployed People’s Movement and its leader, Ayanda Kota.
The Makhanda High Court also ordered the Municipality to pay the costs of a defamation application by the parties.
The civil matter stems from an ex-parte application by the Municipality in 2021 to interdict any person from acting unlawfully during spontaneous service delivery protests in the City.
The Municipality cited UPM and Kota as respondents and made defamatory allegations regarding their alleged involvement in the protests.
Makana Municipality withdrew the application, but Kota and the UPM then instituted “action proceedings for defamation”.
The matter was settled between the parties on Thursday, 6 October, on the condition that the Municipality issue an apology and pay the legal costs.
The court suggested that the Makana Municipality issue a letter of apology “in substantial compliance” with the following words:
“The Makana Municipality sincerely and unreservedly apologises to both the UPM and Mr Kota for making inaccurate allegations about their conduct in the ex parte application which the Municipality launched in respect of the service delivery protest on 17 June 2021. In this regard the Municipality deeply regrets any harm cause to the reputation of the UPM and Mr Kota and, in particular, any implication that either the UPM or Mr Kota engaged in any unlawful behaviour during the service delivery protest in June 2021.”Wording of the apology letter suggested by the Makhanda High Court