Allegations of corruption, tender manipulation and even infidelity against officials in the office of Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha have led to provincial government spokesperson Phuti Seloba dragging Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Limpopo provincial leader Jossey Buthane to the Polokwane High Court on a charge of defamation.
Seloba made an urgent application to the Polokwane High Court yesterday, alleging that Buthane posted false statements about him and Mathabatha on social media. The case was struck off the roll by Polokwane High Court Judge Matsaro Semenya, who said the application was not urgent.
Seloba said in an attempt to protect his integrity and that of the premier, he had to stop Buthane from continuing with the posts, which he said were malicious, damaging and provocative.
According to some of the posts seen by The Citizen, Seloba was accused of being Buthane’s mole, feeding him information about corruption in the Limpopo provincial government and alleged wayward behaviour by Mathabatha, both in the province and on international trips.
Buthane alleged in the posts that Seloba had told him Mathabatha had once taken an international trip simply to spend time with one of his female MECs.
Another post alleges Seloba told Buthane Mathabatha had missed vital meetings due to him getting drunk and failing to wake up in time.
“He also alleges that I told him about corruption and that certain MECs in Mathabatha’s cabinet awarded lucrative tenders to their pals and families. I feel disillusioned and flabbergasted,” said Seloba yesterday.
Seloba added that Buthane defamed him when he posted on social media that he was a rapist. The Citizen reported in February that Seloba was accused of raping a Batswana woman who was in the province for Cosafa football matches. The charges against him were subsequently withdrawn.
“I want him to tell me who I have raped. I want him to go back on the same Facebook and tell the public which court convicted me. I have worked very hard for many years to build my reputation and I cannot sit and fold my arms when a political charlatan such as Buthane drags my name through the mud,” he said.
Yesterday Buthane confirmed he had posted the information on Facebook. “I wanted everyone to hear the kind of leader in the name of Mathabatha we have in Limpopo as per the information I got from his trusted spokesperson.
“We are the official opposition in this province. In the EFF, we hate secrets, especially those that involve corruption, infidelity and the general conduct of leaders in government.
“If a trusted man like Seloba, who exudes so much power, told you something, you would be a fool to ignore it. That is why I posted all that he told me so that people know about the rot in Limpopo,” said Buthane.
Mathabatha’s spokesperson, Kenny Mathiba, said: “Anyone who divulges state secrets is in contempt of the oath they took when taking up a state job. But the local government is looking into all these allegations.”