Former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils has demanded either proof or an apology over a pre-election claim by Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) Military Veterans’ Association chairperson Kebby Maphatsoe that he set up President Jacob Zuma for a rape charge.
“In May this year, just prior to the national election when I advocated opposing the ANC, he joined in the ruling party’s orchestrated attack on my character by alleging I ‘had hand-picked’ the young woman who claimed Jacob Zuma had raped her,” said Kasrils, also an MK veteran.
During Zuma’s rape trial in 2006, in which he was acquitted, Zuma had said he believed the rape charge was part of a political conspiracy against him.
Maphatsoe’s remarks, reported in April this year, were among those critical of a campaign by Kasrils and former deputy health minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge called the “Sidikiwe! Vukani! Vote No” campaign – which urged South Africans to either vote for a minority party, or spoil their ballots.
Kasrils said at the time Maphatsoe had said he could produce the evidence to support his allegation.
“I am prompted now to request this MK deserter to either produce the evidence he referred to which can be tested in a court of law or to retract his accusation.”
“It is a cowardly and false allegation which I categorically deny,” said Kasrils.
‘An old thing’
Contacted for comment, Maphatsoe, who is also deputy defence minister, at first seemed not to remember the remarks and said: “I’m not going to respond to frustrated Ronnie Kasrils. I don’t know what he is talking about. I don’t remember. This is an old thing.”
After some time he said Kasrils should find the original statement and prove himself, and then decided Kasrils should rather write directly to him.
“He must write to me, he must not go to media if he has got issues.”
Last week Maphatsoe had to back down from a claim that public protector Thuli Madonsela was a “CIA agent” after Madonsela threatened to take him to court for remarks he made in defence of Zuma and the probe into security spending on his Nkandla home.
He also finally confirmed that he did indeed lose his arm while leaving an MK military camp in Uganda, after being accused by some of being a deserter. He said he was shot by soldiers of the Ugandan army while leaving and was not deserting, but was leaving because conditions were unbearable and he had wanted to report this to ANC headquarters. – Sapa