Speaking during a press briefing held in Johannesburg on Tuesday morning, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema, for the first time, publically addressed the legal action recently brought against him by ANC treasurer general Paul Mashatile.
Mashatile recently filed a suit against Malema, EFF Gauteng leader Mandisa Mashego, and their party for defamation of character for calling him a thief in addition to a number of other accusations.
Mashatile chronicled the comments in court papers filed by his lawyers Mncedisi Ndlovu and Sedumedi Attorneys last week.
The first instance occurred at a public May Day rally held in Alexandra by Malema’s party where, in his address, Malema listed Mashatile among those he believed to have been involved in the Alexandra Renewal Project (ARP) funding that had gone missing.
He then went on to tell the crowd that if it were up to his party, they would send Mashatile to jail.
According to his submission to the court, the ex-Gauteng chair believes these comments were made with the intention to injure his reputation and defame him.
“Ey, Tatana Mashatile, I’m disappointed in that guy,” said Malema.
“Tatana Mashatile has given us summons here. When we said he knows the story of Alexandra Renewal. The reality is that Pual knows, he knows where the money went. He was [with] the leaders of the ANC, he was in government. He must just explain,” he added.
It is not known whether Malema and his co-defendant were given a directive to refrain from making further comments but Mashatile is seeking compensation of R1,000,000 and apologies from each defendant.
During the EFF press briefing, Malema alleged that Mashatile was taking advantage of the broken legal system by using the law against political speech.
“These courts have created an environment where political speech can be suppressed. We’re going to see a festival of these things. The courts have taken the decision to suppress political speech in South Africa,” said Malema.
He then brought up Angelo Agrizzi’s R200,000 fine for using a racial slur and compared it to his own case stating that this means it is more expensive to make political utterances than it is to be a racist.
Note:- We try our level best to avoid any kind of abusive content posted by users. Kindly report to us if you notice any, [email protected]