Battle for Tshwane: Maepa refuses to withdraw statements targeting DA mayoral candidate

2020-02-25 14:51
Dr. Kgosi Maepa.

Dr. Kgosi Maepa. ( Deaan Vivier)

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Amid threats of legal action, ANC chairperson in Tshwane Dr Kgosi Maepa maintains he will not retract statements made about DA mayoral candidate Randall Williams' alleged involvement in the GladAfrica scandal.

Following DA federal council chairperson Helen Zille's announcement that Williams would be their mayoral candidate for Tshwane, Maepa tweeted that Williams played a critical role in the GladAfrica contract.

In 2018, News24 reported on allegations of a tender irregularity which led to engineering company GladAfrica securing a R12bn contract with the City to provide project management support to it.

READ| Randall Williams an excellent candidate for Tshwane mayor - DA

The Auditor-General later declared the tender irregular, leading to the contract being cancelled in 2019. Various legal entities also flagged the contract for procurement process irregularities, News24 previously reported.

In a tweet on February, 21, Maepa claimed that Williams was involved in the GladAfrica scandal as the leader of government business in council.

On Tuesday, Williams, through his attorney, sent a cease and desist letter to Maepa, threatening legal action if Maepa did not remove the alleged defamatory statement from his Twitter account and any other social media accounts or websites under his control.

According to the lawyers letter, Maepa's statements were wrongful and defamatory, published with the intention of defaming Williams and injuring his reputation.

"The defamatory statements were intended by you, and was understood by those who read the statements, to mean inter alia that our client engages in corruption... " the lawyers letter read.

READ| DA announces candidate for soon-to-be vacant Tshwane mayor position

"The allegations concerning our client are baseless, false, wrongful and defamatory of our client and have been published by you maliciously with the intention of defaming our client and causing harm to his reputation."

The letter also demanded that Maepa give a written undertaking that he would desist from making or publishing the allegations or causing it to be published.

"Should you not do as required, by 12:00 on February, 26 2020, our client shall have no option but to exercise his rights in law, which may include seeking urgent interdictory relief against you and a claim for all subsequent damages and costs incurred to date and in future."

Reacting to the letter, Maepa told News24 he would not be retracting his statement and would oppose any court application.

Mokgalapa resignation

Williams, who has been a long-serving councillor in Tshwane, was appointed as the DA's mayoral candidate following Tshwane Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa's announcement that he would resign.

News24 previously reported that Mokgalapa announced his resignation after the emergence of an audio recording which his opponents claimed was a sex tape, as well as his ability to deal with sensitive council matters, some of which he inherited from his predecessor Solly Msimanga.

READ | Embattled Tshwane mayor Stevens Mokgalapa announces resignation, DA thanks him for his service

He was placed on special leave in November following the release of the audio recording allegedly featuring him and then-Transport MMC Sheila Senkubuge engaging in an intimate act in the municipality's offices.

It was also revealed that DA party leaders had urged Mokgalapa to resign or be forced out of his position, a move which could severely dent his political career.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  john moodey  |  randall williams  |  kgosi maepa  |  tshwane  |  politics

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