ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule this week filed a defamation lawsuit against African Transformation Movement (ATM) defector Buyisile Ngqulwana and petitioned the Bloemfontein High Court for R500,000 in damages.
This after Ngqulwana in May claimed that Magashule was involved in the formation of the ATM, which Magashule denied.
To this end, Magashule, in court papers, contends that the lawsuit’s primary objective is to clear his name. He is also asking the court to demand that Ngqulwana retracts his claims and issues a public apology.
In his founding affidavit filed on Monday, Magashule wrote that Ngqulwana’s claims that he helped establish the ATM are “without any factual basis” and “completely false”.
Magashule added that he had never met Ngqulwana, nor had he ever spoken to him.
“The purpose of bringing this application is to vindicate my reputation,” said Magashule in the court papers. “I seek various orders aimed at vindicating my reputation and putting an end to the ongoing and anticipated unlawful publication of the allegations in the statement and compensating me for the harm I have suffered.”
To this end, Magashule want the court to make the following orders:
- Compel Ngqulwana to pay him damages to the tune of R500,000
- Declare that the claims made by Ngqulwana are “defamatory and false”
- Direct Ngqulwana to retract his statement and issue a public apology
- Interdict Ngqulwana from making any further statements of the same nature – claiming Magashule was involved in the formation of the ATM
- Declare Ngqulwana’s continued publication of his claims as unlawful.
Magashule insists that the first time he ever knew there was a human being named Ngqulwana was when the Sunday Times reported that he had submitted an affidavit to the electoral court, part of which contained claims that Magashule helped in the formation of the ATM.
“Ngqulwana’s allegation is false. The falsity of his statement is worsened when consideration is given to Ngqulwana’s statement in the media. Initially, Ngqulwana states in his affidavit that he was ‘given to understand’ and that he was ‘informed’ about my alleged involvement in the formation of the ATM.
“However, in the media, Ngqulwana moved from being ‘informed’ to being the very source of the information,” argues Magashule. “In sum, Ngqulwana states as fact what is clearly a hearsay statement that is without a factual basis whatsoever.
“Neither does Ngqulwana state where he received the information nor that the information was within his personal knowledge.”