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Babalo Ndenze and LEBOGANG SEALE
LAWYERS have been dragged into the tiff between ANC Youth League spokeswoman Magdalene Moonsamy and Deputy Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni following the latter’s criticism of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
Ndabeni, through her lawyer Makhetha Matumba, is taking her fight with Moonsamy and other members of the ANC Youth League to the Johannesburg High Court following the release of a letter criticising her in insulting terms for remarks she made about Madikizela-Mandela.
Eight names of ANC Youth League members from the Eastern Cape, Limpopo, Free State and the Western Cape appear at the bottom of the letter with their contact numbers.
Matumba said: “The charges are crimen injuria and defamation of character. We are suing all those people on the letter, including Magdalene.”
The matter goes back to Ndabeni’s post on Facebook about Madikizela-Mandela’s criticism of President Jacob Zuma’s polygamous lifestyle.
Ndabeni wrote: “Life can be interesting. Dali Mpofu represented Julius Malema in the national disciplinary committee hearings. Mam’ Winnie has always seen a great leader like Madiba in Malema, and now the mother of our nation sees immorality in Zuma. Who is a saint between the two of them?”
Moonsamy responded by writing an open letter to Ndabeni, attacking her for criticising Madikizela-Mandela.
But Moonsamy denied she had anything to do with a second letter, now the subject of the defamation charges.
“There was one letter sent from me to the media. But I have no knowledge of the one with personal attacks and I don’t want to get involved.”
She said she had even had a brief chat with Ndabeni to try to resolve the matter, which had included the intervention of a “common comrade”.
Moonsamy’s lawyer, Brian Mashile, has written to Ndabeni’s lawyer, denying his client’s involvement.
“Our client [Moonsamy] reiterates that she wrote the open letter to your client. Other than as aforesaid, she knows nothing,” said Mashile.
Contacted for comment yesterday, the eight women purported to have been signatories to the letter denied any knowledge of it. One of the women, based near Butterworth, was shocked to hear that her name appeared on the letter, saying she didn’t even have ready access to e-mail. Another of the women said she had learnt of the letter on Facebook.
Simultaneously, a reader who styles herself “Nomonde Sibeko” lashed out yesterday at Moonsamy for her public attack on Ndabeni.
“Sibeko” responded to Moonsamy’s comments in an open letter of her own and accused the youth league spokeswoman of being a hypocrite who allowed herself to be used like a condom by politicians she said were pests.
“Now that you have found it prudent to open this Pandora box of mudslinging in the name of politics… we accept the invitation with warm hands,” Sibeko said.
She berates Moonsamy and her “friends [for] going about ridiculing our [ANC] movement and its leadership”.
She then tears into Moonsamy, alleging that she had a promiscuous lifestyle that included sexual relationships with some of the ANCYL leaders.
“I wonder where do you get the audacity to address the nation about key matters of discipline and morality when you are found wanting in all respects?” the stinging missive reads in part.