Mabuza claims protection order against him nothing more than a political campaign
ANC deputy president David Mabuza has slammed an interim protection order taken out against him by a wealthy Mpumalanga businessman and said it is nothing more than a political smear campaign.
"I welcome the day that I can appear in court to answer these allegations‚" said Mabuza in a statement to TimesLIVE.
On Monday sustainability developer and conservationist Frederick Daniel obtained an interim protection order against Mabuza to stop him from interfering in his business operations and from harassing him‚ his family and staff. He claims that Mabuza has been behind the stopping of his applications to secure permits to operate his business - a nature reserve which is the gateway to one of South Africa's most pristine biodiversity areas. The area is situated between Badplaas and Barberton.
Daniel maintains that Mabuza's harassment stems from him blowing the whistle on an alleged R2.1-billion fake land claim scam‚ which allegedly involved Mabuza. Daniel has a R2.5-billion law suit in the North Gauteng High Court against Mabuza and officials in several Mpumalanga government departments‚ including the provincial tourism and parks agency.
The law suit involves the loss of business because the province refused to grant him permits to operate his luxury nature reserve.
Mabuza‚ in his statement‚ hit back at Daniel and his lawyer‚ Mathews Phosa‚ who he labelled a "failed ANC Presidential candidate". He accused Daniel of abusing the courts through his "sensational‚ frivolous and thumb-sucked allegations".
"It has come to our attention that Daniel and his partner/legal advisor Phosa were both in attendance at the Advocate Chambers in Pretoria during the arbitration matter between Daniel and the Mpumalanga Tourism Promotions Agency (MTPA)."
He said the matter had nothing to do with him nor land claims.
"If Daniel with his cohorts have any evidence of any wrongdoing‚ in particular of a criminal nature‚ he can lay the charges directly with the Hawks and the Public Protector."
Mabuza described the order as "bizarre".
"Daniel has made frivolous allegations including defaming me and has committed perjury.
He said it was clear from reading the "political resume" about him [Mabuza] in Daniel‘s affidavit‚ that Daniel has plagiarised an affidavit from Phosa‚ that Phosa had used in another matter against him [Mabuza].
"I are not surprised of the sensational affidavit … which is utter nonsense‚" Mabuza said‚ adding that he had never met nor spoken to Daniel‚ who he described as a "serial accuser".
He said land claims were the responsibility of the national government and not provincial governments and that he had no involvement in land restitution.
Mabuza said Daniel had been involved in a dispute with MPTA on an important issue involving conservation and game animals.
He said he did not know the full facts of the dispute and that he should not have been drawn into the matter.
Mabuza said he now understood why his name and integrity had been targeted and smeared.
"This because of Phosa’s involvement and political agenda."
He said he had no interest in Daniel’s business and that he would be laying charges of perjury against Daniel.
Phosa dismissed Mabuza's assertions as ridiculous and said Mabuza should go to court to defend himself.
He said he had been Daniel's lawyer for the past two years and had not represented him (Daniel's) when his problems with Mabuza began.
Phosa said Mabuza should refrain from attacking him with such statements when he was entitled to act as Daniel's lawyer.