Babalo Ndenze

Political Bureau

[email protected]

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 seven other members of the ANC Youth League to the Johannesburg High Court. This follows the release of a letter allegedly criticising her in insulting terms for Facebook remarks she made about Madikizela-Mandela.

The names of eight 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,” Matumba said.

The matter goes back to Ndabeni’s post on Facebook about Madikizela-Mandela's public 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 the 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.

“Her (Ndabeni’s) lawyers have communicated with my lawyers,” said Moonsamy.

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 any involvement of his client in the letter.

“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 who are 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 only learnt of the letter on Facebook.