EFF leader Julius Malema has reportedly dropped his R1 million defamation case against former party MP Thembinkosi Rawula, who claimed in a Facebook post in 2019 that Malema had confessed to receiving money from the looted VBS Mutual Bank, News24 reported on Friday.
However, Malema maintains that Rawula’s allegations are false and defamatory.
According to the report, Malema said Rawula failed to produce evidence to support accusations made against Malema and EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu on social media and during media interviews.
Rawula claimed that Malema and Shivambu admitted at a meeting of the EFF’s central command team (CCT) that they had received money from the now-defunct bank.
“The political overview of Julius Malema in the most recent CCT meeting admitted to the 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,” Rawula claimed in his social media post.
He also alleged that Malema and Shivambu had abused millions of rands in party funds, particularly from the levies the party imposed on its elected representatives, and from constituency funds received from the 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,” Rawula said.
Malema, represented by advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, tried to convince five Appeal Court judges to rule that Rawula’s allegations on the matter were “false and defamatory”.
However, the judges hearing Malema’s appeal against Gqeberha [Port Elizabeth] High Court acting judge Nicolas Mullins’ dismissal of his defamation case in November 2019 were reportedly not convinced by Malema’s arguments.
Mullins had found that Malema’s legal bid against Rawula was “inappropriate and undesirable” after he Malema asked the court to stop Rawula from making any further corruption claims against the EFF. Malema also demanded that he be awarded R1 million in damages.
Judgement in the case was reserved.