'I don't have time': Maimane puts on brave face as councillors demand apology
Politics / 29 October 2018, 1:31pm / Mayibongwe Maqhina
Cape Town - DA leader Mmusi Maimane said on Monday he would meet in court five former party councillors whom he alleged were implicated in the Bowman's report that probed the affairs of City of Cape Town.
"As for the five, I will see them in court, those people. My lawyers will deal with those people. I don't have time. We will deal with that issue," Maimane said when asked by journalists at a media briefing in Parliament.
On Sunday, the lawyers for the councillors, who resigned from the DA on Thursday, gave Maimane an ultimatum until 6pm on Monday to retract "false and defamatory allegations" against their clients.
Van Rensburg and Kie Attorneys demanded that Maimane issue a media statement and also publish another Bokamoso newsletter, where he made the allegations.
"You are to apologise unequivocally for having made these false and defamatory allegations against our clients," read the letter of demand.
When journalists initially asked him about the matter, Maimane showed them a photocopied Bowman's report.
"Let's read that and then we can discuss the issue afterwards. Once we have done that, we can deal with this issue," he said, before saying he would meet the councillors in court.
Pressed to say it on record, Maimane held the photocopied report on one of his hands.
"You know what is important is my lawyers will respond to those people properly and tomorrow night, in fact, I will be speaking to those people. I won't be speaking to them before that," he said.
"Let me leave it at that because people like to claim all sorts of things without any evidence and therefore, I want our legal department to deal with them," Maimane said.
His brave face on the councillors' allegation was short-lived as minutes after the media briefing the DA issued an edited version of his Bokamoso newsletter.
"Friday’s Bokamoso contained a factual inaccuracy regarding the role of the five former DA councillors in Cape Town, an error for which we apologise. Please find below the corrected version," read a note on the newsletter.
References that the credible report from the credible legal firm has "allegedly implicated them in tender irregularities" and "they stand accused of maladministration" were edited out.
However, Maimane noted with concern that "somebody wants to resign on the back of the tabled report of Bowman".
"Let's not talk about any other things. There is a report that finds challenges in a municipality and now people want to resign," he said.
"They must be running away from something. Let me leave at that. My lawyers will deal with that," Maimane said.