The MEC of Gauteng for human settlements, Lebogang Maile, has laid charges of crimen injuria against Gauteng Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Mandisa Mashego at the Alexandra police station on Monday.
The ANC MEC said he wanted the EFF leader “arrested and charged” and had also threatened the EFF with a lawsuit.
Mashego allegedly called Maile a thug and a liar while addressing a gathering in Alexandra township recently, accusing him of involvement in the controversial Alexandra Urban Renewal Project.
Maile claimed to never have had any involvement in the project, for which billions of rands were meant to be allocated to the project. Members of the ANC’s Johannesburg provincial government are accused of having stolen the money, an allegation denied by Johannesburg Premier David Makhura through his spokesperson Castro Ngobese.
According to Maile, who laid charges alongside his lawyer Mashudu Tshivhase, Mashego lied about his involvement in the project, and this was exposed a few days after she made the utterances, while attending a gathering in the township with Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba.
“Firstly, the accusations are baseless. Secondly, they are damaging to my reputation, image, and integrity. So I will not take them lightly,” he said.
“This is what [the EFF] always do,” he added. “Insult people, spread lies, and pull populous stunts to get support and it’s not going to happen at my expense.”
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Maile’s name has been mentioned by the EFF in connection with the project, alongside other ANC officials – his brother Mike Maile and ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile – who was premier of Gauteng when the project was launched.
It was reported in The Sowetan that national EFF leader Julius Malema also mentioned the name of the three in a speech delivered at a Worker’s Day rally. This resulted in a lawyer’s letter from Mike Maile demanding an apology, something Malema refused to give him.
According to Maile, both his brother and Mashatile also plan to lay criminal charges.
In addition to the criminal case, Maile said he intended to take the EFF to court – as according to him, Mashego was speaking on behalf of the party when she accused him of involvement in the controversial project – in a civil lawsuit the proceeds of which he said he would donate to the people of Alexandra if he won.
“We are confident we are going to win this one because there is no basis for them to wake up and insult us. They tell lies without basis and facts. I am reliably informed that the treasurer-general of the ANC and my brother will open cases. We are going to take them head-on,” Maile said.
“We are writing to her today to start the civil lawsuit process, it has its own procedures, so once we’ve done that, we will then put a price on what we want and whatever money we want from both the EFF and Mandisa, it is money we are going to donate to the people of Alexandra to develop this place.”
Mashego responded “no comment” when questioned on the matter by The Citizen.