Home South African Lesufi retracts assassination claims against AfriForum

Lesufi retracts assassination claims against AfriForum

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Gauteng MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi has officially retracted his allegations that AfriForum attempted to assassinate him and stalked his children.

Panyaza Lesufi. File picture

GAUTENG MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi has officially retracted his allegations that AfriForum attempted to assassinate him and stalked his children.

Lesufi made the allegations during a media conference in Johannesburg on November 24 in 2019.

“If they want to fight me, they are free to do that … what they’ve been doing before … they’ve been following me, they’ve been following my family, they’ve been following my children. They’ve been trying to attack me, they’ve been trying to assassinate me,” Lesufi said at the time.

In a joint statement released by Lesufi and AfriForum on Sunday, Lesufi said he “regrets” the comments.

“The member of the executive committee, Mr Panyaza Lesufi (MEC), regrets that he had made utterances on November 24, 2019 that gave the impression that AfriForum had attempted to assassinate him and had been stalking his children. In consequence, the MEC retracts those utterances,” said the statement.

“The MEC states that he is under regular attack from various sources and that his utterances should be viewed against such background,” the statement continued.

The statement added that Lesufi and AfriForum commit to constructive engagement in an attempt “to prevent a repeat of such a situation and to address any issues which may arise in the future.”

The joint media statement is the result of mediation between the parties about Lesufi’s statements against AfriForum. The mediation was held after AfriForum’s legal team had instituted a libel action against Lesufi.

Kallie Kriel, chief executive AfriForum, said that Lesufi’s about-turn confirmed the allegations against AfriForum were nothing but blatant lies.

“Taxpayers would have paid for Lesufi’s legal fees in the libel case. However, since R431 million has already been plundered by Lesufi’s department in the school sanitation debacle, AfriForum wants to prevent more taxpayer money from being wasted on Lesufi’s legal costs,” Kriel said.

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