ANC to bus supporters to Mabuza-Phosa defamation case

2016-05-11 21:58
Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza. (Netwerk24)

Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza. (Netwerk24)

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Pretoria – The ANC in Mpumalanga would bus its members to the High Court in Pretoria where the province's premier, David Mabuza, is suing politician-turned-businessman, Mathews Phosa, for R10m for defamation.

The ANC’s provincial secretary, Mandla Ndlovu, confirmed SMSes that have been circulating since Tuesday were authorised by his office, as the civil case was an "official programme" of the ANC.

“Yes, [it is an official programme] from my office,” Ndlovu said.

Ndlovu said he could not say how many people would attend, but that they would not be inside the courtroom. Some ANC members in the Nkangala region have confirmed that messages were being circulated to mobilise them to support Mabuza in court on Thursday.

“Cdes! All LEMT and LET members be informed of a trip to Pretoria high court on Thursday in support of the ANC provincial chairperson. Dr JS Moroka [municipality] has 5 buses and only few wards have been targeted. For more on logistics contact me comrade Donzi. Mayihlome! LET coo,” reads one of the SMSes.

Personal affairs

LEMTs and LETs are the ANC’s Local Election Management Teams and the Local Election Teams respectively.

Ndlovu said that Mabuza’s personal affairs couldn’t be separated from the ANC. “You can’t separate comrade DD [Mabuza] from his other responsibilities, because people will have an interest in this case, which has been in the public domain for a very long period,” said Ndlovu.

The case against Phosa is a sequel to a 'top secret' report claiming Mabuza was an apartheid government informer, Agent PN485, who spied on ANC leaders, including Phosa, during South Africa’s liberation struggle.

Mabuza has denied the allegations.

But on Wednesday his legal team called a witness who was an apartheid-era security branch policeman, Sergeant JD Venter, to disclaim the spy report, but Phosa’s lawyers declined to cross-examine him, as they regarded his testimony as irrelevant to the civil case.

Influencing judicial process

The policeman, who now owns a petrol filling station at Mbombela, resigned from the police service in 1994.

Mabuza’s spokesperson, Zibonele Mncwango, would not be drawn on why Mabuza used an apartheid-era security branch policeman to defend him.

“I would not comment on matters that are before the court as I am not the spokesperson of the court,” said Mncwango.

Phosa said the ANC in Mpumalanga was abusing its own structures to influence judicial processes.

"As ANC we should focus on the local government elections and not be diverted. It is everyone's freedom to assembly in a democracy. I take exception to the abuse of ANC structures to try and put pressure on the judiciary, and avoiding a frontal investigation of the content of the so-called spy document,” said Phosa.

Both Phosa and Mabuza have called for an ANC-led investigation into the spy allegations, but the ANC has remained silent on the suggestion.

Read more on:    anc  |  david mabuza  |  mathews phosa  |  pretoria

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