PhD 'ghostwriter' claims against Mayor Masina retracted
Johannesburg - The Gauteng man who last week claimed that Ekurhuleni mayor, Mzwandile Masina, was using the academic expertise of one of his staffers for his own benefit, has since retracted the claims.
On Monday, Katlego Katli Mamabolo took to Facebook to retract the claims which were denied by Masina from the moment they surfaced.
Mamabolo had claimed that Masina, who was working on obtaining a PhD, had roped in Malaika Mahlatsi, a speechwriter and researcher in his office, to do some of the academic work required for the thesis.
It is not clear why Mamabolo decided to retract the claims and apologise after he initially insisted that he had enough evidence to back up the claims should he be challenged further.
He is currently being sued for R750 000 for defamation by Mahlatsi who labelled him a bitter man who could not accept that their brief romance was over.
In the Facebook post titled “Letter of Apology and Retraction to Ms Malaika Mahlatsi and Mr Mzwandile Masina”, Mamabolo expressed “regret” for the defamatory allegations.
“Permit me to seize this opportunity and extend my regret and apology to Ms Malaika Mahlatsi for the defamatory allegations which I levelled against her on the 10th of May 2020, the nature of these allegations implicate her in academic dishonesty, as they create the impression that she is doing the PhD of Cllr Mzwandile Masina, this is not true and I therefore retract all statements which speak to that.
"Furthermore, I understand that these allegations have been very damaging to the integrity of the Executive Mayor of Ekurhuleni, Cllr Mzwandile Masina, an outstanding leader of society and academic, it is in that context that I offer my apology to him and put it on record that through his various academic achievements, he has demonstrated personal commitment to academic work,” Mamabolo wrote on Facebook.
While Masina did not respond when asked by Independent Media to comment on the latest developments, on the same day Mahlatsi wrote on Facebook that she welcomed the retraction.
She said during her fight with Mamabolo, her ex-boyfriend, "devastating mistruths" were peddled about her and Masina.
“At the heart of these was the damaging lie that I was employed in the City of Ekurhuleni to write a PhD for the Executive Mayor. This horrific lie cast aspersions on my professional and intellectual credibility, and on the credibility of the City of Ekurhuleni.
"Prior to my employment in the City of Ekurhuleni, I was employed as a researcher and speechwriter in national government. It is not a question that I was employed as a speechwriter in the Office of the Executive Mayor because I'm qualified and capable, and after having undergone a rigorous selection process.
“My intellectual work and contributions to the ideational space speak for themselves. That my appointment in the Office of the Executive Mayor was brought into question is an attack on my hardwork and on the stripes that I have, through sweat and tears, earned. It was wrong. Equally wrong was the aspersions cast on my intellectual and academic integrity, as well as that of my boss, who has never at any point asked me or anyone else to write a PhD for him,” Mahlatsi said.IOL