Mabuza accuses Phosa of seeking political clout

2017-04-02 07:44
Mathews Phosa. Picture: Theana Breugem

Mathews Phosa. Picture: Theana Breugem

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Former ANC treasurer Mathews Phosa has been accused of trying to discredit Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza to regain political influence in the province.

This was what Mabuza’s lawyer, Advocate Etiene Labuschagne SC, said during closing arguments in his defamation case in the Pretoria High Court this week.

He also said Phosa saw Mabuza as his rival, even though he was not directly involved in politics, and that he was trying to get rid of him.

Judge Bill Prinsloo then asked: “Why would he want to discredit [Mabuza]? He is in Johannesburg [being] a businessman, and is writing Afrikaans poetry.”

Labuschagne argued: “We know what happened to the current deputy president [Cyril Ramaphosa]. He came back from the cold. Phosa needs a base from his province, and for him that province is Mpumalanga. He is out in the cold and is trying to get back via Mpumalanga.”

Mike Maritz, Phosa’s senior counsel, responded that his client had no interest in returning to politics, and challenged Labuschagne to provide “evidence and demonstrate that Phosa wanted to return to politics via Mpumalanga”.

The claim concerns the dissemination of a purported intelligence report alleging that Mabuza was an apartheid spy code-named PN485.

The report alleges that Mabuza spied on senior ANC leaders – including President Jacob Zuma, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and the late Albertina Sisulu – between 1985 and 1993.

Mabuza initially claimed R10m, but is now demanding R1m in compensation from Phosa, whom he accuses of concocting the report and sending it to Luthuli House.

Prinsloo said he would send his judgment to Mabuza’s and Phosa’s lawyers.

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma  |  angie motshekga  |  david mabuza  |  mathews phosa

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