KGOMOTSO Malope has threatened to sue African Times for millions of rands and “bankrupt” its editor if the
paper published stories about his alleged involvement in ICT tender corruption worth R26 million.
Through his Johannesburg-based lawyer Tshepo Mohapi, Malope sent African Times a letter of demand on Wednesday last week – a day before the first story was due to be published – demanding an undertaking that the paper would not go ahead with it.
This was after African Times called Malope and sought his response to corruption allegations levelled against him. Instead of responding, Malope requested a meeting with the paper’s editor Piet Rampedi the following morning to
give his version of events.
After pleading his innocence and claiming to be a victim of a malicious campaign by disgruntled colleagues and unionists, Malope promised to share critical documents proving his story through his lawyer Mohapi from
Tshepo Mohapi Attorneys.
Claiming that Malope had been “cleared from these allegations on several occasions including by a disciplinary enquiry conducted by the intervention team appointed in term of section 100 (1) (b)”, Mohapi’s letter of demand said his client was the subject of a National Prosecuting Authority investigation whose findings had yet to be released.
“We would edge you to verify the truth of your story with the NPA before publication of your story as we believe that you should be aware that the story is totally unsubstantiated, untrue and extremely prejudicial to our client. We call upon you to give an undertaking not to publish the story until you have verified the facts,” read part of the letter of
demand, dated May 3, 2017.
“Should you fail to do this, our client concludes that you are acting maliciously, unprofessionally and unethically simply to harm his good reputation with no regard for the actual facts. You are required to furnish this undertaking by close of business today, failing which our client reserves all his rights including an urgent interdict in the High Court and or an action for damages in High Court and for costs.”
Mohapi then followed up with two telephone calls in which he threatened African Times with all manner of actions.