Black Business Council president Sandile Zungu is set to sue Business Unity South Africa leader Sipho Pityana for defamation.
In two open letters written in his personal capacity, Pityana accused Zungu of having played a role in state capture and plunging the country into a “perilous state”.
Now Zungu plans to sue him for defamation, saying in a response sent to City Press: “Prior to Pityana’s latest public letter, I had already consulted with my legal advisors in relation to his first letter and had instructed them to proceed with an action against Pityana for defamation”.
“I have been informed by my legal advisors that the summons will be issued early next week. In the defamation case, Mr Pityana will be called upon to prove the truth of his scurrilous and untrue defamatory remarks and I will deal with the matter through the legal system,” he said.
In his latest letter published on Tuesday, Pityana, who is also the chairperson of AngloGold Ashanti, writes that while previously his problem with Zungu has been “the unethical conduct that has been a trademark of your past”, he now can add to that his “dishonesty in owning up to that past and trying to rewrite history”.
He also charges that Zungu was a “useful comprador (agent) for the barons of state capture” and accuses him of “selling out the very crooks you were once proud to have as business partners”.
Pityana slammed Zungu as an “unscrupulous state capture collaborator”, saying that while he doesn’t want to become embroiled in a “tit-for-tat”, he seeks to correct Zungu’s attempts to “airbrush history – particularly your collaboration with the architects of state capture, and your dealings with the Guptas”.
In his response, Zungu said: “The latest missive by Sipho Pityana reinforces a widely-held view that he is engaged in a malicious and personal vendetta against Sandile Zungu and is campaigning against the Black Business Council (BBC)”.
“The most recent ‘open letter’ by Sipho does not even have the good grace to acknowledge the fact that his first open letter was replete with falsehoods and inaccuracies. I deny his allegations in the strongest terms,” he wrote.
“The legitimate commercial business dealings which Pityana refers to, (although entirely out of context), and tries to pass off as an exposé, when the details thereof are and have always been a matter of public record, simply do not support his far farfetched, unfounded and unsubstantiated allegations.
“I have resolved not to comment any further on Sipho Pityana’s public allegations as to do so only fuels his insatiable cravings for publicity.”