Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga has decided to take on his two main detractors, ANC regional chairperson Kgosi Maepa and ANC caucus spokesperson Lesego Makhubela, suing them for R3-million.
This after the two led months of attacks against him and the DA-led municipality over the awarding of a multimillion-rand tender to Midrand-based engineering firm GladAfrica.
News24 has seen the combined summons filed in the high court on Thursday in which Msimanga complains about comments made by Maepa during media briefings and an interview with Talk Radio 702, as well as over claims made by Makhubela on Facebook.
Maepa labelled the mayor “the new poster boy of corruption”, calling him that numerous times during media briefings and on the radio station.
“The statements were further wrongful and defamatory of the plaintiff in that the general public to whom the reporters subsequently report to mean the plaintiff conducts the business and affairs of the City of Tshwane in a corrupt manner,” said Msimanga’s lawyers in the court papers.
The mayor is seeking R2-million from the ANC regional chairperson, who is also the leader of the ANC caucus in council.
Makhubela, in the summons, is accused of claiming the City paid a contractor R30m for work not done, which was then used to fund the plaintiff’s election campaign.
“As a result of such defamation and statements the plaintiff has been damaged in his reputation and injured in his dignity and has suffered damages to the amount of R1m,” said Msimanga’s lawyers.
The DA in Tshwane has been embroiled in numerous scandals throughout the year, including the hiring of unqualified staff, standoffs against an embattled city manager, friction within its caucus and the R12-billion GladAfrica saga.
The ANC, which has been struggling in the opposition benches, has capitalised on the matter, often calling for Msimanga to step down as mayor.
Msimanga alleges that the ANC leaders said the “DA thugs” were being led by the “poster boy of corruption”, adding that they accused him of misleading the Auditor General by taking him to a project created by the previous government in an attempt to conceal a crime.
Tshwane was under the control of the ANC until the 2016 elections, when the DA, with the aid of smaller parties and the EFF, was able to take control of South Africa’s capital city.
Msimanga, who confirmed that he was suing the two through his spokesperson Samkele Mgobozi, said he was doing so in his personal capacity and refused to comment further. — News 24