Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has been given 10 days to retract a statement about ANC councillor Geoff Makhubo or face legal action.
"I have received a letter from the lawyers of ANC Regional Chairperson, Cllr Geoff Makhubo, giving me 10 days to publicly retract and apologise for alleging that there was a corrupt relationship between Regiments, a company at the centre of state capture, and Cllr Makhubo," Mashaba confirmed in a statement on Wednesday.
Mashaba said Makhubo was expected to institute civil proceedings, seeking R5m in damages, should he fail to comply with the demand.
This comes after the Mashaba tweeted on December 6, 2018: "Geoff Makhubo was injected with R30 million to keep Regiments Fund Managers relationship with @CityofJoburgZA lucrative. And of course, @Parks_Tau has no idea how this could be."
These sentiments where shared after amaBhungane reported that new evidence suggested that the chair of the ANC's powerful Johannesburg region and prospective mayoral candidate had scored an estimated R30m from the City of Johannesburg by acting as an influence broker.
As a result, Mashaba opened a case of fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering against both Makhubo and former Mayor Parks Tau at the Johannesburg Central Police Station.
"The article shows that not only was Regiments a regular donor to ANC coffers, but that the company had allied itself with ANC cadres for some of its other BEE deals. One such deal shows how both Makhubo's and Tau's wives received a lucrative set of shares then worth R3m; the shares are now said to be worth approximately R50m.
"The depth of criminality and the arrogance displayed by the ANC, Makhubo and Tau is astounding to say the least," Mahaba further claimed.
Despite the looming threat of legal action, Mashaba is standing his ground.
"Makhubo will receive no such retraction or apology and I look forward to defending this matter in an open court of law in which all the evidence against Makhubo and Regiments will become public record.
"Indeed, the only court that the disgraced leader of the ANC in Johannesburg belongs in is a criminal court," he said.
The City is currently at an advanced stage in its investigation into the matter.
"Once completed, and given the serious nature of this criminality, I have instructed General Shadrack Sibiya, the Head of the City's Group Forensic and Investigation Services Unit, to set up a meeting with the top leadership of the Hawks to ensure that every effort is made to see that this blatant criminality is met with the full might of the law," Mashaba concluded.