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DA man to sue over hate speech accusation

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“I will pursue other avenues regarding the matter”

DA COUNCILLOR Herbert Japhta intends claiming damages of R1.5 million from ANC proportional representative councillor Shaine Griqua after charges of hate speech were withdrawn against him in the Equality Court last week.

Japhta said yesterday that he was in the process of instituting a civil claim against Griqua for defamation of character.

Griqua indicated yesterday that he had decided to withdraw the charges “for personal reasons” after receiving threats from unknown individuals.

“I will pursue other avenues regarding the matter,” Griqua said

He approached the Equality Court after he said that he was ridiculed and discriminated against on the basis of his gender.

Griqua believed that his human rights were violated as he was a representative of the gay and lesbian community.

He stated that around the time of the national government elections last year, Japhta had called him derogatory names – “gaan jy as ‘* m**t, ‘* aunty en ‘* moffie” (are you going as a m**t, an aunty and a queer?).

Japhta subsequently won Ward 28 in his capacity as the DA ward councillor in the by-elections last year, where Griqua was previously the Ward 28 councillor before he left the DA and rejoined the ANC.

Japhta said he felt insulted by the accusations that were made against him.

“I have friends in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community. Never in my life have I ever called anyone a moffie. It was a lie. Griqua was bitter because I won the ward during the last by-election, when he resigned from the DA and as a ward councillor. It is time for him to let go,” said Japhta.

He added that one of his friends in the LGBTI community from Australia would visit him to celebrate his vindication of the charges that were levelled against him.

“I am not interested in becoming involved in petty squabbles. The matter was postponed four times in the Equality Court before the charges were withdrawn. It has never been my dream to be a ward councillor. I am merely serving the community. I might be sent to Parliament in 2021,” said Japhta.