Phosa: Venter pays price for lying and stealing

2015-03-24 16:23

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ANC veteran Mathews Phosa has won the second case in a legal wrangle against his former employee.

The North Gauteng High Court today granted Phosa an interdict prohibiting Jan Venter from distributing information – documents, emails, photographs and videos – about Phosa’s family and businesses.

Last week, Venter’s lawyer Koen Koekemoer indicated that the former ANC treasurer and Mpumalanga premier’s application would not be opposed, and it was not.

This interdict came after Phosa got a default judgment against Venter last week in the Nelspruit Magistrates’ Court to pay back R53 000 that went missing while he was employed as house manager in Phosa’s home near Hazyview.

Venter acrimoniously resigned from his job last May.

“[Venter] returned a memory stick through his lawyer [Koekemoer] last Friday, and now we’ve told him to delete all photos he has published on Facebook,” said Phosa today.

Phosa accused Venter of distributing private information to different media houses.

“He is paying the price for lying and stealing,” said Phosa.

He said that Venter’s properties would be attached tomorrow to recover the R53 000.

Other action on this matter, said Phosa, would include listing Venter with the credit bureau and applying for a garnishee order on his salary.

But Koekemoer said he had applied for rescission of the default judgment and the case would be heard in the Nelspruit Magistrates’ Court on April 16. When the judgment was granted last week, Koekemoer claimed that Venter did not know the case was before court.

“We served the rescission today,” said Koekemoer.

» Factional fights

Venter has been accused of involving himself in the Mpumalanga ANC infighting when he deposed an affidavit to police alleging that he saw Phosa and his associate, Nick Elliot, fabricating an intelligence report accusing Premier David Mabuza of being a former apartheid spy.

Phosa’s associates alleged that Venter was being used by Mabuza for his political battles.

Phosa argued that the spy report had circulated for five years before he received it from a whistle-blower last September and he had witnesses who were prepared to testify to this in court. After receiving it, Phosa forwarded the report to ANC officials at Luthuli House.

City Press has independently verified with four sources – an ANC provincial executive committee member, a former MEC, an ANC councillor in Mbombela and a South African Communist Party (SACP) Ehlanzeni regional executive member – who confirmed they had the report around 2010 and 2011.

Venter, however, said when he saw Phosa drafting the report, he informed Mabuza.

Mabuza reacted after it became known that ANC officials had the report.

Venter declined to respond to allegations that he had been meeting Mabuza’s political allies to plot against Phosa.

“I have no comment on that,” he said.

Phosa said he received a text message last week informing him that Venter was driving in an ANC regional chairperson’s vehicle. City Press has seen the message.

Mabuza wants to be elected for a third term as ANC provincial chairperson in 2016, and thereafter launch his campaign into national office as party deputy president, chairperson or treasurer-general.

Phosa is close to the provincial SACP – which works in cahoots with the ANC’s anti-Mabuza faction to unseat the premier.

» Unresolved cases

There is still a string of unresolved cases between Phosa and Venter. The former premier laid a perjury and defamation charge against Venter at the White River Police Station on March 14 concerning allegations that he fabricated the spy report.

A criminal theft case pertaining to the R53 000 Venter allegedly embezzled is before the Hazyview Magistrates’ Court.

Venter has laid an intimidation charge against Phosa’s head of security, Peter van Zyl. He alleged that Van Zyl threatened him, demanding that he return Phosa’s documents. The case is before the White River Magistrates’ Court.

While Mabuza’s criminal defamation charge was going on, according to national police spokesperson Lieutenant-General Solomon Makgale, the lawsuit was not moving.

Phosa said he had not received court papers since Mabuza threatened to sue him for R10 million last year.

Mabuza’s request to President Jacob Zuma to set up a commission of inquiry into the spy allegations had also not progressed.

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