Mashaba's defamation case an 'abuse' of the courts

2018-12-03 17:32
Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba. (Lucky Morajane, Gallo Images, Daily Sun, file)

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba. (Lucky Morajane, Gallo Images, Daily Sun, file)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba's defamation case against his predecessor is an abuse of the courts as he is playing politics, the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg heard on Monday.  

"This is a bad case, it shouldn't have been argued, it is just a parade," advocate Ishmael Semenya argued on behalf of Parks Tau.  

"You don't use interim relief in respect of past conduct," Semenya said. 

Mashaba has approached the court seeking an interim relief order for Tau to retract and apologise unreservedly for a statement he made in 2016, accusing him of being a "bigoted sexist who is racist and wishes he is not black".

Mashaba also wants the court to order Tau, the ANC Women's League and Cosatu to retract their "offending remarks".

He also wants the parties to refrain from repeating the remarks, and also issue an unconditional and widespread apology. 

Right to hold office 'threatened'

Advocate Dali Mpofu, representing Mashaba, told the court that because of Tau's comments, Mashaba was likely to be viewed in a negative light by the population. 

READ: Mashaba drags Parks Tau to court for defamation

Mpofu said his client's right to hold office may be "threatened" if he is called sexist and anti-black. 

"Let's us assume that there are elections tomorrow and these views that he is a racist are all there and are being repeated, how can it be denied that that would diminish his chances to exercise his profession?

"All your Lordship has to say is, 'we accept that there is a limit, and prima facie in this case, that limit was exceeded or not' and to call somebody those things borders on those limits," he said.

However, Semenya labelled Mashaba's application as an "abuse" of the court. He said parties made all sorts of statements to attract voters. 

"This is electioneering time. There is no interim relief that is being sought here. We are just playing politics," Semenya said. 

Semenya argued that Mashaba could not seek interim relief when the alleged utterances were made two years and four months ago.  

He said the application was launched 105 days after the alleged statements. 

In 2016, soon after Mashaba's election as mayor, Tau was reported to have verbally attacked Mashaba at the funeral of ANC councillor Nonhlanhla Mthembu, claiming Mashaba was sexist and anti-black.

'Senior executives prostituted themselves'

Mthembu died in August 2016 after collapsing during proceedings to vote for the new mayor of the City.

During Mthembu's funeral, Tau reportedly said Mashaba had no respect for women. 

"The City of Johannesburg is today led by a man who believes that the women who are senior executives prostituted themselves to be in the jobs they are in. He says that in fact for them to earn the positions that they are in they had to sleep with the leadership.

"We have heard views from the mayor, Herman Mashaba, who says that in fact if it were up to him he would not want to be black," he is reported to have said at the time. 

Following his case on Monday, Mashaba told reporters that: "I am happy with the argument my legal team advanced. There isn't anywhere where I have made statements that women are prostitutes. 

"I have made it very clear when I was asked about this case and I maintain it that as a new administration that is why people voted for change.

"We cannot appoint people on the basis of wives and girlfriends. We have to establish professional public service. When we employ people, let's employ people that are actually fit for purpose," he said.  

Judgment has been reserved in the matter.  

Read more on:    herman mashaba  |  parks tau  |  courts
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Reporting Accountant

Cape Town
Network Finance Professional / Prudential
R310 000.00 - R360 000.00 Per Year

Cluster Financial Manager

Cape Town
Network Finance
R950 000.00 - R1 000 000.00 Per Year

SQL Reporter

Cape Town
Communicate Cape Town IT
R10 000.00 - R12 000.00 Per Month

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.