PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has accepted a ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œvery significantÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â seven- figure
settlement from BritainÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s The Guardian after tackling the newspaper
head-on over an article that claimed he is a rapist and corrupt, writes Werner Swart in The Times.
Zuma is also involved in a number of lawsuits against South African media houses.
Both the newspaper and ZumaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s team dealing with his defamation lawsuits against the media refused to reveal the settlement figure, but The Times reliably understands it to be a seven-figure amount.
Liesl Gottert, who acts as ZumaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s spokeswoman on the defamation lawsuits , refused to confirm the amount.
She would only say that Zuma is ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œsatisfiedÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â with the settlement.
Gottert added that the settlement should ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œserve as an example to the media worldwide that even though president Zuma supports press freedom, he will act accordingly if they report malicious untruthsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â.
The Guardian article, written by author Simon Jenkins, quoted an unnamed friend of Jenkins as having said God is ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œabout to give us a criminal and a rapist as presidentÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â.
He further described Zuma as a ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œpolygamous, leopard skin-draped Zulu bossÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â who was ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œjust another African crony politician for whom power is not about government, but personal enrichmentÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â.
Click here to read the full report, posted on thetimes.co.za.