Suspended ANC Youth League spokesperson Floyd Shivambu has “no recollection” of sending a message to journalist Carien Du Plessis calling her a “white bitch”.
“I do not have records, nor [a] recollection of me saying that to her under whatever circumstances either through text messages or verbal pronouncements,” he said in an affidavit filed at the Johannesburg Equality Court this week.
“I know I did not send the text message using those references because some of the words … are not part of my vocabulary, in particular the word bitch.”
Du Plessis brought hate speech charges against Shivambu after an SMS exchange between them in May 2010.
She claims he wrote: “You must learn to respect people. I don’t comment on YCL issues and please stop being stupid … I wouldn’t want to earn respect from white bitches … so dream on.”
Du Plessis is suing for R100 000 in damages.
Said Shivambu: “I never typed any text message to the journalist which referred to her as a white bitch. I do not wish to express any opinion, about what my thoughts of her are, but only wish to state the facts.”
Shivambu said he used to have a professional relationship with Du Plessis, but that this changed when she spoke with him on a personal level.
“The journalist interacted with me on a … private level … when she was strangely asking me about what were clearly sexual interest[s] she had on an African male I know.
“I would never think that she is racist because she told me that she was considering sleeping with a … male who was making moves on her.”
Shivambu said Du Plessis met him and his male acquaintance at his flat in Johannesburg in “what appeared to be a private meeting”.
Later he realised there was tension between them.
“I discovered that there is animosity between the two of us when she started not talking to me about anything, including work related issues,” Shivambu said.
“I discovered through court papers … she alleges that I have sent her a text message saying she is stupid and a white bitch.”
The court earlier ruled it would allow oral evidence by witnesses and experts in the case. Du Plessis and Shivambu might be called in to testify if necessary.
Magistrate Oriel Vele recently ordered that affidavits and particulars crucial to the case be handed in by Tuesday.
The complainant and respondent were ordered to make their cellphones and sim cards available within ten days of the relevant documentation having been handed over.
Both parties would meet on February 14 for possible admissions and again on February 28 for answers to questions. — Sapa