Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) legal representatives Dali Mpofu and Tembeka Ngcukaitobi faced off in the Pretoria High Court on Tuesday over the dismissal of former public protector COO Basani Baloyi.
Mpofu is representing Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, while Ngcukaitobi represents Baloyi, who is challenging the termination of her employment. The legal bout, which Mpofu said was now dubbed the derby, a term associated with soccer matches when two prominent rival teams face-off, has many on social media going to the booking board to place their bets on who is likely to come out on top.
Gcukaithobi will come up top ,Mpofu won't win against Gcukaithobi
— Khaya Mhlongo (@khayam8) November 25, 2019
It seems some are relishing the face-off, with some even calling for a WWE wrestling announcer.
We need that voiceover guy for WWE from Etv to do the case introduction. "Todaaaaaayyy!! In couuuurrrrtttt! We have an EFF smackerdownnnn!!!! We thought that they were frieeeennndsss!! Now they have to fight to save a legal careeeeeerrr!!! Catch all the actionnnn!! On Eeeeee!!"
— MySA???????? (@linley_sa) November 25, 2019
Mpofu and Ngcukaitobi’s legal case appears to be shifting from being about their clients to an online discussion on who is likely to dominate the case based on their expertise. Social media users have even requested for a live feed to the legal battle.
Advocate Mpofu has an upper hand, Labour Law is his area of expertise. He is very dangerous when it comes to Labour matters.
— Mfundo Ntoni (@MfundoNtoni_RSA) November 25, 2019
The battle of the BEST @SABCNewsOnline may you please broadcast this, I wanna learn something
— Keuza (@Keuzaphonik) November 25, 2019
— Motsamai Mokoena (@motsamai247) November 25, 2019
Ke kopa live feed just wanna see something pic.twitter.com/JKtVM3UOhW
— Zonda_Matjitji (@Robert_Number09) November 25, 2019
Can it be live
— Kim❤ (@Kholofelokim) November 25, 2019
Its gonna be lit! pic.twitter.com/OdNhdEZr8I
— Mosola Tente Mosola (@2Ate1) November 25, 2019
Baloyi, who was reportedly fired for lacking the technical expertise in her role as COO, is challenging the decision and wants the court to declare her dismissal unconstitutional and to be reinstated in her position as COO. She claims Mkhwebane used her position to further her own personal interests and has since dragged Mkhwebane and Public Protector CEO Vusi Mahlangu to court for allegedly using their roles for their own advancement.
She claims Mkhwebane failed to act impartially and independently in preparing reports, which included the CR17 campaign funding probe and the South African Revenue Services rogue unit investigation.
Mkhwebane has denied the allegations that she used her position to further her own agenda. She views the court matter as a labour matter but also as nothing but vindictive vengeance from Baloyi.