A man who accused Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Mbuyiseni Ndlozi of rape and murder has apparently retracted his statements “without reservation”, but only because of an apparent legal threat by a top lawyer.
EFF leader Julius Malema tweeted a screenshot from ANC supporter Thami “Cool Razo” Mthimkhulu’s Twitter account apologising to Ndlozi. The screenshot has the words: “I retract without reservation all defamatory tweets I posted suggesting that Mr Ndlozi is a rapist and murderer. I apologise to him for all the harm caused by my tweets.” The screenshot seemed to have been taken on Thursday afternoon and Mthimkulu has since changed his profile picture.
Be warned boys pic.twitter.com/G1Kz7nBR4B
— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) August 11, 2016
It’s unclear whether Mthimkulu really ever was responsible for the Ndlozi rape rumours and why he has actually apologised.
A look through his Twitter timeline, however, would suggest that he was contacted by Ndlozi’s lawyer, Eric Mabuza, and made to do so.
Mthimkulu appears merely to have then copied and pasted the text as provided to him by the lawyer.
Whatever the case, the sarcastic and flirty online character revealed on his timeline doesn’t seem to be letting up on the his anti-EFF jabs, as he had lots of shade for party deputy president Floyd Shivambu, who lost a child maintenance “papgeld” case last year for his then five-year-old.
How's the child maintenance going chief @FloydShivambu, you up to date?
— Thamsanqa Mthimkhulu (@Mtamerri) August 12, 2016
Few seem to think Mthimkulu’s apology was particularly heartfelt.
At the start of 2015, the media was given the “lead” that Ndlozi had possibly raped a woman (and even had her killed) during the party’s first elective conference in Bloemfontein.
The allegation surfaced via a Twitter account called @ANC_Branch, which was later deactivated. The account claimed “Commissar Mbuyiseni Ndlozi is attending a court case for rape.”
At the time, the story seemed intriguing because Ndlozi had been replaced by an acting spokesperson in the form of Hollywood actor Fana Mokoena. When the media requested comment on the allegations, we were told by the EFF in a statement that Ndlozi was not actively involved in his party role while doing work on his PhD thesis.
“Commissar Mbuyiseni Ndlozi is on study leave, working on his PhD thesis, and will come back as head of communications and spokesperson on the 1st of February 2015,” the party said at the time. He did duly return to work and the allegation seemed to go nowhere.
Mokoena also denied these allegations, saying the ANC was trying to ruin the “great” future of the spokesperson.
The rape allegation resurfaced briefly on Twitter again last month ahead of the August 3 elections and Ndlozi again denied all the rumours, saying: “ANC Philistines with uncircumcised hearts are trying to tarnish my name but they will never succeed. Because Lies have short legs! Salute!” he said.
Many attempts to reach Ndlozi for a comment were unsuccessful. The Citizen will continue to try to reach Ndlozi and we sent an email to Mr Mthimkulu for comment. His response to what was going on was only: “I can’t tell you why, because I will be the only one who gets a lawsuit when you publish the story.”