Trevor Manuel drags JJ Tabane to court over Cope formation allegations

Former finance Minister Trevor Manuel File picture: Werner Beukes/ANA

Former finance Minister Trevor Manuel File picture: Werner Beukes/ANA

Published May 19, 2022


Johannesburg - Former ANC leader and finance minister Trevor Manuel has filed an urgent application in the Gauteng High Court to force media personality JJ Tabane to retract and apologise for claims that he and other ANC heavyweights had a hand in the formation of the Congress of the People (Cope).

This legal action comes after the former minister had written to Tabane asking him to “unreservedly withdraw the false, wrongful and unlawful statements” made against him during Tabane’s appearance on podcast, Hustlers Corner by DJ Sbu on YouTube.

Following Tabane's allegations, ANC NEC member Lindiwe Sisulu approached the party's president, Cyril Ramaphosa, to demand an investigation into the claim.

Manuel said Tabane’s allegations harmed his reputation and impugned his integrity.

He added that Sisulu’s response to the allegations “shows just how serious the accusations are and just how harmful they are to my reputation”.

In his founding affidavit, Manuel said he was not in any way involved in Cope's formation.

He said that when Cope was formed in 2008, he was the finance minister and a member of the ANC’s national executive committee,and that any involvement by him in Cope would have constituted misconduct.

He cited clause 25.17.13 of ANC’s constitution, which states that joining or supporting a political organisation or party, other than an organisation in alliance with the ANC, in a manner contrary to the aims, objectives and policy of the ANC shall constitute misconduct in respect of which disciplinary proceedings may be invoked and instituted.

Last week, Tabane told The Star that if Manuel took any legal action, he would defend it vigorously.

Tabane told the newspaper that he stood by his utterances.

Manuel wants Tabane to retract and apologise to him and pay R100 000 in damages.

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Political Bureau