Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has reportedly declined to provide the party’s financial documents to former EFF MP Thembinkosi Rawula.
In court papers, Malema claims Rawula would use the documents as a weapon against him and EFF, HeraldLIVE reports.
The two are locked in a R1 million defamation battle following Rawula’s claims that Malema had admitted to the EFF receiving VBS funds.
He claimed that Malema made the admission during a Central Command Team (CCT) meeting of the party.
Rawula made the claim in April via a Facebook post after being dropped down EFF’s nomination list of MPs.
He subsequently resigned from EFF, but Malema and EFF Deputy President Floyd Shivambu launched a defamation lawsuit against him.
They are demanding that Rawula deletes the “defamatory” comments from his Facebook page.
They also want a retraction as well as an unconditional apology from Rawula published on social media.
However, Rawula has challenged Malema to produce EFF’s minutes of meetings, resolutions, bank statements, and audited financial statements.
He believes that these documents would back up his claims. Malema and EFF are however not budging.
‘Defame now, prove later’
The EFF leader argues that Rawula’s request only proves his strategy of “defaming now and proving later.”
He added that given the bad blood between him and Rawula, the latter could use the documents against him.
I am caught between two unconscionable choices. Either I refuse to comply with his demands or I acquiesce in them.
In the former instance, my silence will be interpreted as an admission and in the latter, if I provide him with the information, he will use it to weaponise against us.EFF leader Julius Malema
VBS Mutual Bank went under after millions of funds, allegedly from municipalities, were reportedly siphoned off to private entities and individuals.
EFF has steadfastly denied receiving any of the funds despite reports linking Shivambu’s brother and Malema’s cousin to the scandal.