- Acting Judge NJ Mulins has ruled in former EFF MP, Thembinkosi Rawula’s favour without any cost orders
- Mulins said that because of Rawalu’s previous senior position, he stood a better chance to prove the claims were true
- Rawula welcome the judgement, calling it a "victory of truth in public interest"
EFF leader Julius Malema has lost the R1m defamation lawsuit against former EFF MP, Thembinkosi Rawula, who had resigned from the party earlier this year.
Rawula had accused Malema and Floyd Shivambu of using party money to fund their extravagant lifestyle. He made the accusations in a Facebook post earlier this year.
According to News 24, the EFF leader had approached the Eastern Cape division of the South African High Court on 21 May, instituting a defamation case against Rawula after he accused both Malema and Shivambu of financial mismanagement and of accepting a donation from the now-defunct VBS Mutual Bank.
The publication reported that the allegations followed weeks after Rawula was excluded from the list of candidates who would be representing the EFF in Parliament and the provincial legislature after the May general elections.
Acting Judge NJ Mulins ruled in Rawula’s favour without any cost orders.
“In conclusion, as the Facebook post had been removed on 9 April, I am of the view that the applicant would not have succeeded with an interim interdict, let alone a final one, and intend to dismiss the application. As the respondent appeared in person, I intend to make no order as to cost, the application is dismissed,” ruled Mulins.
Despite Malema’s legal representative, Advocate K Premhid of Ian Levitt attorneys, arguing that there had been no facts that supported Rawula’s claims regarding the VBS accusation, Mulins said that because of Rawalu’s previous senior position, he stood a better chance of proving the claims were true.
“Due to his senior position in the EFF, he [Rawula] has certain information and he says the statements are true, and given the opportunity, he will prove it; he does not rely on bare denial,” said Mulins.
Rawula had requested that the party disclose all organisational bank and credit card statements and invoices indicating payment to service providers since 2014.
Rawula who represented himself, welcomed the judgement and described is as a “victory of public interest”.
He told City Press on Tuesday that he could finally put all the things he has a problem with to rest as he had put his life on hold to work on the case.
“I was representing myself, it took my personal time and caused so much anxiety on my family, but overall, we welcome the judgement. My political life was also on hold because of this case. This is a victory of truth in public interest,” said Rawula.
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