PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has accepted a “very significant” seven- figure
settlement from Britain’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 Zuma’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 Zuma’s spokeswoman on the defamation lawsuits , refused to confirm the amount.

She would only say that Zuma is “satisfied” with the settlement.

Gottert added that the settlement should “serve as an example to the media worldwide that even though president Zuma supports press freedom, he will act accordingly if they report malicious untruths”.

The Guardian article, written by author Simon Jenkins, quoted an unnamed friend of Jenkins as having said God is “about to give us a criminal and a rapist as president”.

He further described Zuma as a “polygamous, leopard skin-draped Zulu boss” who was “just another African crony politician for whom power is not about government, but personal enrichment”.

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