Mahumapelo takes North West Business Forum to court

2017-03-01 09:07
Supra Mahumapelo. (City Press)

Supra Mahumapelo. (City Press)

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Johannesburg – The North Gauteng High Court is set to hear an urgent application by North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo next week in his bid to stop members of the North West Business Forum from making what he calls defamatory statements about him.

The forum has been campaigning to get Mahumapelo removed as premier of the North West, even releasing a song about him as part of their efforts. The forum also organised a march, which was ditched at the last minute when the ANC Youth League in the province held a demonstration on the same day.

In court papers filed this week, Mahumapelo said he wanted four respondents – Fana Moraka, Sello Mogodiri, Themba Gwabeni and Oupa Mphomame – who form part of the leadership of the forum, to desist from making defamatory statements about him, threatening him with violence and inciting others to do the same.

The group ignored a deadline given to them by Mahumapelo to apologise for their song and comments about him.

"They say that I am corrupt, that I am dishonest, greedy and abuse power with no regard to the consequences," said Mahumapelo.

He also claims the business forum has made statements linking Mahumapelo to the killing of businessman Wandile Bozwana.

Damages claim 'not adequate'

In explaining the threat of violence, Mahumapelo said the forum wrote in an open letter that "Historical despots like you, and such as Oupa [Gqozo], Lucas Mangope, [Mobutu Sese Seko], Batista, Idi Amin, [Obiang Nguema] were removed by the civil. Beware of February 24."

He said the names mentioned were of leaders whose regimes had been characterised by suppression or violence against others, with some having been removed by violent means.

"I respectfully submit that the first to fourth respondents have made it clear that they will not cease their unlawful conduct unless I am violently removed from office," said Mahumapelo.

He added that it was clear to him that the group would continue to publish defamatory statements about him.

The premier, who is also chairperson of the ANC in the platinum-rich province, said he felt he had no other option but to approach the courts as a claim for compensation or damages would not undo the harm the group has caused him.

"A damages claim cannot serve as adequate compensation for the injury to my good name and reputation that I have suffered," he said.

Mahumapelo also said he was bringing the matter to the court on an urgent basis because he believed the four were about to intensify their campaign against him.

"Unless the matter is heard on an urgent basis, I will not be afforded substantial redress in due course," said the North West premier.

*This story has been corrected to reflect that the matter will be heard next week and not on Wednesday. 

Read more on:    supra mahumapelo  |  pretoria  |  politics

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