15 June 2017

South Africa: Phosa Donates Spy Case Money to Cape Town Storm Victims

Photo: Yazeed Kamaldien/GroundUp
Waiting out the storm at home in a leaking shack in Taiwan, a section of Khayelitsha township, with buckets to catch the water.

Former treasurer-general of the African National Congress (ANC), Mathews Phosa has kept his word to donate part of the money he received from Mpumalanga premier, David Mabuza, to charitable causes.

Last month, the Gauteng high court judge, Bill Prinsloo, ordered Mabuza to pay Phosa's legal fees following his unsuccessful civil claim for defamation against Phosa.

This was after Phosa had admitted handing over a report, alleging that Mabuza was an apartheid-era spy, to senior ANC officials.

Mabuza has denied the spy allegations.

Phosa confirmed on Wednesday that Mabuza has paid the money, estimated at R900 000, through his attorney, Davis Mculu two weeks ago.

He said that he has already donated some of it, more than R100 000 to the Khayelitsha Development Forum and St. Paul's church, which houses some of the victims of the recent storms in Cape Town.

"I prioritised the flood victims because their circumstances were very dire. I also donated some of the money to the church for them to buy blankets and mattresses," Phosa said.

He also said he will be donating to non-governmental organisations in Mpumalanga and Limpopo during the Mandela Month (July).

In court papers Mabuza claimed that Phosa and his business partner, Nick Elliot, authored the spy report with the intention of injuring his good name within the ranks of the ANC.

He initially claimed R10m from Phosa but during the closing arguments in court, his attorneys reduced the claim to R1m.

Judge Prinsloo, however dismissed Mabuza's case and ordered him to pay Phosa's legals fees.

"I have come to the conclusion, and I find, that the plaintiff has failed to discharge the onus of proving that the defendant created the Spy Report, so that the action falls to be dismissed," said Prinsloo when he handed down judgment last month.

Even though the judge ruled that Mabuza's allegations which were widely reported in the media had tarnished Phosa's "good name and reputation", the latter said he would not sue Mabuza, but he warned him to be careful of what he says in public in the future.

"I hope Mr Mabuza has learnt a lesson then he may think whatever he wishes to but he must be careful about what he says," he said.

Mabuza's spokesperson, Zibonele Mncwango, directed all enquiries to his attorney, Davis Mculu.

"We will not make any comment other than appreciating that since this is a legal matter, we will appreciate that questions relating to the costs should be directed to the honourable premier's attorneys," said Mncwango.

Mculu said he would comment once he had taken instructions from his client, Mabuza, but he had not responded at the time of publication.

Phosa and Mabuza are expected to square up again at the ANC's national conference to be held in December this year.

This was after different ANC structures pronounced them as their preferred candidates for the ANC's president and deputy president positions respectively.

Mabuza, who is the provincial chairperson of the ANC in Mpumalanga has received the support of the national ANC Youth League, the ANC Military Veterans Association and the ANC's four regions in Mpumalanga, while ANC Western Cape provincial executive committee member, Andile Lili, reportedly said the province supported Phosa's bid for the organisation's presidency.

Source: News24

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