Johannesburg – The new executive mayor of the City of Joburg, Kabelo Gwamanda, has threatened to sue the former mayor of Johannesburg, Mpho Phalatse, for defamation of character.
This comes after the circulation of voice notes that are believed to be from members of an investment scheme that Gwamanda allegedly used to run.
In the voice notes, a woman complains that Gwamanda had scammed her and other people who had invested in a company called Ithemba Lama Afrika.
The scheme consisted of an investment wing and a funeral plan. Phalatse had been on various media platforms commenting on the matter. She had also challenged Gwamanda to clarify the allegations surrounding him.
At the same time, the DA had given Gwamanda two days to clarify the allegations against him before approaching the police. In various interviews, Phalatse said the matter was brought to her attention on Saturday. She claimed the allegations were too serious to ignore.
“We demand that the DA retract their lies against the mayor and demand that they issue an apology, both verbal and written, within the next 48 hours, failing which we will advise the executive mayor to instruct his legal team to approach the courts for remedial action and sue the DA for defamation of character,” Gwamanda’s party Al Jama-ah said in a statement.
According to Al Jama-ah, the circulating clips were a political tactic to taint the image of the new mayor. The party said, to their knowledge, there had been no official reports of a scam involving Gwamanda.
“We will not be fooled nor distracted by this power-obsessed party with a false sense of entitlement or birthright-to-power mentality that has lost its plot as seen in the recent council, where it failed to unite behind one voice with their former multiparty government partners, where even its own coalition partners have rejected them and do not take them seriously to an extent where three of their own councillors willingly sponsored their votes to an ActionSA mayoral candidate, how then are we, as a democratically elected governing party, expected to take them seriously?” the party said.
Meanwhile, the chairperson of Al Jama-ah in the City of Joburg, Thapelo Amad, has filed a complaint with the office of council speaker Colleen Makhubele on the conduct of the DA. The matter was expected to be referred to the ethics committee. Essentially, Amad accuses the DA in the complaint of playing dirty politics and publicly smearing Gwamanda’s name without any evidence of the accusations made against him. Amad described Phalatse’s public statements as deplorable.
The Star contacted Phalatse for comment, but no comment was received by the end of business on Tuesday. The Star also contacted the deputy leader of the Johannesburg DA caucus, Bongani Nkomo, who referred the matter to Phalatse.
Source : IOL