HomeAfrica-NewsEFF leaders want Malema and Mazzotti 'housekeeper' story dropped and Pauw's book...

EFF leaders want Malema and Mazzotti ‘housekeeper’ story dropped and Pauw’s book pulled from shelves

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  • EFF top brass is threatening legal action against News24 after it published a story based on a new book by Jacques Pauw.
  • They want immediately withdrew all copies of the book from bookstores and have threatened the publisher and News24 with legal action.
  • “This is the book that Julius Malema doesn’t want you to see,” says Pauw, while News24’s lawyer argues that the publication’s reporting is justified.

EFF leader Julius Malema has demanded the immediate withdrawal of a new book exposing his relationship with confessed tobacco smuggler Adriano Mazzotti.

Malema also wanted News24 to retract a story, based on damning allegations made in the book, that Mazzotti gave him cash and expensive alcohol.

On Friday, News24 reported that several allegations have been made against Malema and his deputy, Floyd Shivambu, in the new book by investigative journalist and author Jacques Pauw. Our Poisoned Land: Living in the Shadow of Zuma’s Guardians. In the book, Pauw reveals the wiles of the Hawks, the mafia networks in the South African Railway Passenger Agency, and the depths of Malema’s relationship with Mazzotti.

Some of the claims include that Malema allegedly held secret meetings with Mazzotti, one of which Shivambu also attended, and that traces of white powder, condoms and women’s underwear were allegedly detected after lavish parties at the luxurious Raphael Penthouse Suites in Sandton. johannesburg.

Malema has since denied the allegations in the book, published by NB Publishers, a division of Media24 Boeke, which went on sale electronically and in print on Friday.

The EFF leader said the allegations were “not worth the paper they’re printed on” and “lacked substance”.

EXCLUSIVE | Money, alcohol and condoms: what Malema and Mazzotti’s housekeeper saw

On Monday, lawyers for Malema, Shivambu and Mbuyiseni Ndlozi wrote to News24 and NB Publishers, disputing 10 claims in the article that referenced Pauw’s book.

“These allegations are false and, collectively, are defamatory and constitute the unlawful publication of private facts relating to our clients,” the letter from Ian Levitt Lawyers said.

Malema, Shivambu and Ndlozi demanded that News24 retract their story and publish an apology. They also demanded that Pauw and NB Publishers immediately remove the book, including removing the book for sale to resellers.

The letter threatened legal action if their demands were not met.

“The accusations do not serve the public interest because, firstly, they are false and, secondly, because some of the accusations are made with respect to private elements of our clients’ lives, which have no relation to the role of our customers in the public space,” the letter said about the 10 allegations.

Exclusive interviews with a housekeeper, to whom Pauw had given the pseudonym Margaret, and a chef, who served the EFF leader, challenge Malema’s claim that he received a R200,000 donation from Mazzotti just once in 2014 .

The EFF’s source of income has been a mystery for years. The party only once, in February this year, declared donations of more than R100,000 to the South African Electoral Commission.

READ | EFF declares donations for the first time

Regarding the book’s claim that Malema often searched Mazzotti’s properties for envelopes, allegedly full of cash, the lawyer’s letter said that Malema posed as a corrupt official, involved in fraud and bribery.

“This particular line of accusations is particularly damaging given the role our clients play in South African society, who are senior politicians, as part of South Africa’s second largest opposition party,” the letter read.

In response to Ian Levitt’s lawyers, lawyers for Willem de Klerk, representing News24 editor-in-chief Adriaan Basson and NB Publishers, said the book was published legally and News24’s reporting on it was entirely justified.

“Their demands for an unconditional retraction and an apology from News24 and NB Publishers, as well as ‘immediate removal of the book… from resellers,’ are rejected,” the letter added.

Pauw did not reach out to Malema or Mazzotti for comment ahead of his book’s publication for fear that his sources could be attacked and intimidated. This “decision was ethically and legally justified under the circumstances,” the letter noted.

In his book, Pauw writes:

The South African Press Code requires journalists to give the subject of critical reporting the right of reply. However, there is one exception: ‘This need not be done where the publication has reasonable grounds to believe that doing so would prevent it from publishing the report or where evidence or intimidation of witnesses could be destroyed.’

“This is one of the main reasons why we (Pauw and NB Publishers) have decided not to approach Adriano Mazzotti, Julius Malema or Floyd Shivambu for comment. We fear that Margaret may become a victim of bullying. She is vulnerable and, to some extent, exposed. She’s just an ordinary person speaking out about the illicit behavior she’s witnessed, and we must protect her as much as possible.”

On Monday, NB Publishers said it supported Pauw and the book.

“The information in the book was properly obtained and lawfully published and the removal and apology demands have been rejected,” it said in a statement.

In the same statement, Pauw said:

This is the book that Julius Malema doesn’t want you to see.

He added that the EFF’s demands were reminiscent of similar attempts when then-spy chief Arthur Fraser threatened to use intelligence legislation to take down Pauw’s now-bestseller. The President’s Guardians off the shelves in 2017.

Meanwhile, Mazzotti and his business partner Mohammadh Sayed, whom the housekeeper claimed to have seen bringing “up to eight bags of cash” into the Carnilinx factory daily, also denied the allegations in the book, saying this was the second time. that Pauw had slandered them. on his books, News24 reported over the weekend.

The two said the allegations against him were an attempt to “smear, damage and damage” his reputation.

“Pauw also does not record that his witness, a disgruntled employee, was caught stealing from our customers on numerous occasions along with other misconduct. Therefore, it is evident that the accusations are distorted for ulterior purposes”, they added.

The woman, a key source in the book who signed two affidavits, was fired not for theft but for cursing at a manager after being falsely accused of theft.

The Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration Commission ordered Carnilinx to pay him compensation of R20,000.


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