Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza says he feels vindicated, despite the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria having dismissed his R10-million defamation claim against former African National Congress (ANC) treasurer Mathews Phosa.
He was happy with court proceedings and Phosa's testimony that he was not the author of the report claiming he (Mabuza) was an apartheid spy, Mabuza's spokesperson Zibonele Mncwango said on Monday.
"The so-called spy dossier has no owner or author and remains just a smear campaign document produced by faceless authors for their narrow smear campaign agendas," Mncwango said.
"The premier believes in constitutional democracy and respects all court decisions. However, he will be guided by his legal team on a way forward."
On Friday, Judge Bill Prinsloo dismissed Mabuza's case against Phosa and made a costs order against the premier.
Phosa, a former Mpumalanga premier, got the spy report from his former butler, Jan Venter. Phosa handed it to ANC deputy general secretary Jessie Duarte.
It contained allegations that Phosa was an apartheid-era spy and was involved in the murder of ANC activist Portia Shabangu.
Venter testified that he overheard a conversation in which Phosa made the spy allegations. Prinsloo dismissed Venter as an extremely poor witness.
Prinsloo said he was left with the impression that Mabuza could have channelled money to Venter. He said Mabuza accused Phosa of authoring the report, even before he had been told of claims that Phosa wrote it.
Prinsloo criticised Mabuza's failure to testify to clarify this discrepancy and to refute the allegations against him.
"Mabuza's attempt to smear me has failed, thank God," Phosa said after Friday's judgment.