Lawsuit not about the money, says Kasrils
Johannesburg - The trial in which former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils is claiming R1 million in damages from Deputy Defence Minister Kebby Maphatsoe stood down on Monday and will now only proceed on Tuesday.
It is not yet sure whether Kasrils or Maphatsoe will first take the stand, as the parties will on Tuesday have to argue as to who will kick off the proceedings.
Umkhonto we Sizwe Veterans Association (MKVA) was on Sunday joined in the proceedings as the second defendant. This step followed after the proceedings stood down for some time, for the parties to come to an agreement in this regard.
Counsel for Maphatsoe told the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, that the MKVA needed to be joined for practical reasons. It was explained that for in case the court ruled in favour of Kasrils, the MKVA will have to pay-up, as Maphatsoe is the national chairperson of the Veterans Association.
Kasrils, among others, said he was defamed as Maphatsoe called him a counter-revolutionary and an enemy of the people.
These statements were allegedly made in response to Kasrils’ call for the boycott of the previous national elections.
Maphatsoe, in defending the lawsuit, said the allegations were made on behalf of the MKVA and in his capacity of MKVA national chairman.
His lawyer on Monday said it was thus just appropriate that the association joined the proceedings.
After the proceedings Kasrils said it was not his intention to sue MKVA, as his gripe was with Maphatsoe.
He said the deputy minister defamed him and for him it was not about the money. If he won his case, he will donate the money to a worthy cause, Kasrils said.
Kasrils is also claiming damages after Maphatsoe allegedly accused him of instigating the rape charges against President Jacob Zuma some 10 years ago, of which Zuma was acquitted.
Kasrils on Monday told the media he knew the young woman – Khwezi - who claimed she was raped, but he made it clear that he had absolutely nothing to do with her accusing Zuma.
Maphatsoe’s lawyer also denied that his client had ever made this allegation.
The case will proceed on Tuesday.