The African Transformation Congress (ATC) says it will assist Buyisile Ngqulwana in a bid to have the case brought against him by ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule settled out of court.
Magashule has taken Ngqulwana to court over claims he was one of the people behind the establishment of the African Transformation Movement (ATM) in a bid to destabilise the ANC.
On Friday, ATC general-secretary Mncedisi Gulwa said the legal battle was not in the best interest of the organisation, which is advocating for “peace” in the country.
“If [it is] not possible for an out-of-court settlement of this matter with the ANC SG, we will have no option but go all out to do crowdfunding for Apostle Ngqulwana as the legal bill is mounting with all these litigations against him,” Gulwa said.
The ATM was one of the many small parties that emerged in the lead-up to the 2019 general elections, with some in the ANC claiming they were set up to split the vote and dramatically reduce the governing party’s results.
Ngqulwana, the secretary-general of the South African Council of Messianic Churches in Christ, while having dropped a legal bid to have the ATM removed from the ballot paper, continued to claim the party was the brainchild of former president Jacob Zuma and Magashule, News24 previously reported.
He insisted Magashule was responsible for the M in ATM’s name.
But Magashule fired back, suing Ngqulwana for defamation and seeking R500,000 in damages.
In his founding affidavit, Magashule said: “The purpose I am bringing this application is to vindicate my reputation. To this end, I seek various orders aimed at vindicating my character and putting an end to the ongoing and unlawful of the allegations in the statement and compensating me for the harm I have suffered.”
He added he was seeking an order declaring that statements made by Ngqulwana against him were “defamatory”, “false” and “unlawful”.