12 July 2019

South Africa: 'This Is Far From Over' - EFF MP Threatens Legal Action Against DA Leaders After Laptop Theft Charge Withdrawn

While EFF MP Nazier Paulsen feels vindicated after a laptop theft charge was withdrawn against him, it's not case closed for him, as he goes after those he believes vilified him.

In his sights are Western Cape Premier Alan Winde, Social Development MEC Sharna Fernandez (former speaker of the provincial legislature) and MPL Ricardo Mackenzie.

He has given them until next Friday to apologise.

"Should they refuse, I will make their public apology part of the claim my attorneys will be instituting against them in due course," Paulsen said on Friday.

His civil claim was for damages to his reputation, he said.

"This matter is far from over, as I have suffered tremendously through this ordeal."

Before going to Parliament, Paulsen worked in the legislature between 2014 and 2015. He said he was issued with a laptop and tablet at the time for work.

After he left, the legislature approached police to investigate his refusal to hand the laptop back.

Paulsen said he had asked to purchase the equipment, but never received a decisive response. He had confidential information which he wanted to remove, and said he did return the laptop, but was still charged with theft.

The matter dragged on in court until reaching finality on Thursday, when prosecutor Adiel Jansen announced the official withdrawal of the charge.

Paulsen said he had maintained his innocence all along, yet was called a "thief and a liar".

He believed the charge was part of a ploy to cause him reputational damage heading into the 2016 local government elections and then general elections this year.

Asked for comment, Mackenzie burst out laughing and said: "It's a joke."

"He must take it up with the legislature, as they opened up the case against him, not me."

Asked if he had ever made disparaging remarks about the case, Mackenzie said it was a long time ago, but he vaguely remembered saying on Facebook that Paulsen must bring back the laptop.

Fernandez said: "I have not been briefed on the outcome of the court matter and cannot comment at this stage."

Winde's spokesperson Bianca Capazario said: "Premier Winde has no comment on this matter."

News24

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