The DA in Gauteng says it is unfazed after former acting CEO of the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP) Leah Manenzhe filed a R500,000 defamation lawsuit against one of its leaders in Gauteng, Makashule Gana.
Lawyers representing Manenzhe gave Gana, who is an MPL in the Gauteng legislature, until the end of Friday to retract his statements or face further legal action.
In court papers, which News24 has seen, Manenzhe claimed the DA in Gauteng had wrongfully accused her of being a dictator, of being corrupt and of mismanaging funds at the GEP during her tenure.
The papers state that on July 23, the party issued a statement in which it claimed that in 2017 it had met with a whistleblower from the GEP who alleged that Manezhe had engaged in an extramarital affair when she became romantically involved with Lebogang Maile, who was the economic development MEC at the time.
He is now the human settlements and urban planning MEC.
Manenzhe argued that in 2018, the DA claimed Maile had stalled in appointing a permanent CEO at the GEP so that she could obtain her MBA before being awarded the position.
Manenzhe’s lawyers claimed their client suffered R500,000 in damages as a result of the DA’s alleged defamatory statements.
Gana confirmed he had received court papers from Manenzhe.
“The DA will not be bullied by legal threats in our pursuit of getting to the bottom of the alleged rot that occurred at the GEP under Manenzhe’s watch.
“Similarly, we will not buckle in ascertaining what role current Cooperative Governance MEC Lebogang Maile played in the shenanigans at the GEP during his time as economic development MEC.”
Gana said it was strange Manenzhe had ran to the courts to sue for defamation when she had not rebutted the allegations made against her by GEP staff.
“She resigned before she was made to explain herself when the political leadership in the department changed. We are eagerly awaiting the release of the forensic report into the on-goings at the GEP under Maile and Manenzhe.
“We hope current Economic Development MEC Dr Kgosientso Ramokgopa continues to clean up the mess left by his predecessors and releases the forensic report sooner rather than later,” said Gana.