Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema is taking his defamation fight against former MP Thembinkosi Rawula to the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein.
This after accusing Rawula of tarnishing his political image, SABC reports.
In November 2019, the High Court in the Eastern Cape dismissed his defamation case against the former party MP after suing him for R1 million.
“It’s not an EFF initiative, it’s between me and him,” Malema said at the time.
This after Rawula deleted a social media post in which he made damning allegations against Malema and party deputy president Floyd Shivambu earlier in the year.
Taking to social media following the ruling, Rawula said: “While the defamatory case against me has been dismissed with contempt by PE High Court, I am still studying the judgment.”
Malema had approached the courts following allegations made by Rawula that Malema and Shivambu had taken money from VBS Bank.
Rawula had called Malema and his deputy president Floyd Shivambu “the pair”, and alleged the EFF was like a “financial fishing net” for them, “an antithesis of everything they support”.
He alleged Malema had admitted in a party meeting to taking money from the now liquidated VBS Mutual Bank.
“The political overview of Julius Malema in the most recent CCT meeting admitted to EFF taking VBS money to finance the revolution. In fact, [Malema] said, ‘sometimes we are forced to kiss dogs or [the] devil to get funding’. The VBS money was done under the full knowledge of the leadership,” he claimed in his social media post.
He also alleged that Malema and Shivambu had been abusing millions in party funds, particularly from the levies the party imposed on its elected representatives and constituency funds received from Treasury.
“All these monies are centralised in the EFF under the control, abuse and dictatorship of Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu. This pair has made it clear, this is their organisation, and all of you have come to join us, not the other way round.”
He listed a number of alleged methods his party leaders used to gain personal access to money from legislatures and parliament, thus supposedly sidestepping Treasury laws.
Rawula argued that the “scandal of VBS has put the EFF cardinal pillar number 7 [anti-corruption] on trial in the court of the public opinion. The EFF will have a tough time to remedy itself to the poor grannies of Limpopo and the country as a whole.”
The EFF subsequently dismissed his allegations as lies driven by him not having made the nominations cut to return to parliament.
But Rawula insisted he was not speaking out over bitterness, but because he wanted the truth known and he wanted to speak out against corruption.
“At some point, one has to speak the truth.”
(Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde)