Malema denies calling Thandeka Gqubule a Stratcom spy, blames legal team for AfriForum loss

EFF leader Julius Malema. (Photo: AFP)
EFF leader Julius Malema. (Photo: AFP)

EFF leader Julius Malema says his party never explicitly labelled any journalists Stratcom beneficiaries.

He was speaking during an interview on eNCA with journalist Vuyo Mvoko on Thursday evening.

Journalists Thandeka Gqubule and Anton Harber are demanding an apology and damages of R1m each from the EFF.

A court ruling gave the EFF seven days to prove allegations that the two were apartheid-era Stratcom spies.

The ruling comes after a video was posted by the now defunct Huffington Post SA shortly after Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's death. It showed a clip from a 2017 interview in which she names both journalists and says they specialised in writing negative pieces on her.

Speaking to Mvoko, Malema said: "If [Gqubule] is Stratcom, she must confess. She has gone to all houses to shop for information that clears her name. We never said she was a Stratcom member. You must find where EFF said Thandeka is Stratcom."

'We will defend ourselves'

He said the EFF merely called on the journalists to confess, only if they were guilty of working for Stratcom.

"We have never said you are guilty of it. We wrote a letter and explained the context of our tweet and statement."

READ: Journalist Thandeka Gqubule gives EFF one week to prove apartheid spy claims, or pay up

He said the party was quoting Madikizela-Mandela. Malema showed no fear about the party being taken to court.

"We are not going to court, we are being taken to court. We will defend ourselves."

Malema attributed recent court defeats at the hands of AfriForum, the latest of which resulted in the EFF having to pay monies, to an incompetent stock of lawyers in the EFF's employ.

"The mistake we made was to hire incompetent people, who lack professionalism, who are not in a position to follow up matters before court in detail."

He said the first interdict brought against the party was unopposed.

"Why would we not oppose them? It is because of a mediocre and unprofessional legal team."

He said the EFF had since paid particular attention to the merits of some of the party's upcoming cases and was "not scared of these boers".

"They have not won the merits. We are now in and ready to go toe to toe."

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