His R1 million defamation claim against Deputy Defence Minister Kebby Maphatsoe has never been about the money, says former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils. It is about his reputation, and he will donate any money awarded to him to a worthy cause, he said.
Kasrils’s lawsuit was adjourned in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria yesterday to allow Maphatsoe’s organisation, the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association (MKMVA), to join the matter.
The civil case will proceed today. Kasrils told reporters he was in court because Maphatsoe had maligned him maliciously.
“Calling me an enemy of the people, of the revolution, working for imperialist agencies, saying I set up the young woman who alleged President Jacob Zuma raped her – that I had hand-picked her – I think this is absolutely defamatory in anyone’s language. I have a reputation to protect.
“We need to put a stop to these people who, at the drop of a hat, point fingers at those who criticise government or the ruling party and call us agents.
“It’s a sad day in terms of what has happened in South Africa – the arrogance, the smear campaigning of calling people spies. What’s so sad is that this really came from the party of liberation, the one in which I served my whole adult life.
“One of the reasons I left it is because it fell into the hands of people who behave this way. The electorate have very recently responded accordingly … We need to teach these people a lesson. They have become too arrogant and self-serving,” he said. Kasrils flatly denied that he had manipulated Khwezi to lay the rape charges.
“She phoned me on November 4, 2005. I’ll never forget it in my life. The words ring in my ear … I heard her voice say: ‘Uncle Ronnie, Jacob Zuma has raped me.’ I couldn’t prevent anything happening and I wouldn’t have in terms of what unfolded, but she was actually on her way to lay the charge at the police station … I never had any part in manipulating that allegation,” he said.