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Julius Malema ordered to retract 'false Alexandra project graft' claims

ANC activist Mike Maile says there is no truth to Malema's claims that he was involved in looting of funds meant to develop the township

03 May 2019 - 18:02 By APHIWE DEKLERK
Eff leader Julius Malema. File photo.
Eff leader Julius Malema. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images / City Press / Tebogo Letsie

EFF leader Julius Malema has been given two days to withdraw "defamatory" statements against ANC activist Mike Maile that the firebrand made during a May Day rally in Alexandra on Wednesday.

In his address, Malema said Maile, the brother of Gauteng economic development MEC Lebogang, together with ANC treasurer Paul Mashatile and Gauteng premier David Makhura, should explain what happened to the R1.6bn allocated to the Alexandra Renewal Project.

The project has been a source of controversy after residents of Alexandra embarked on a "shutdown" protest against poor service delivery and illegal structures in the township.

Maile, in a letter from his lawyer, demanded that Malema withdraw his statements as there was "no truth or basis, either in fact and/or in law, entitling you to attribute the aspersions relating to the alleged 'stolen' money (if any) to him".

Maile's lawyer said although Maile was employed and occupied various capacities in government, during the period 2001- 2004, he vehemently denied the allegations.

"Our client further denies having 'stolen' any money intended for or earmarked for the said project," reads the letter.

Maile further said Malema’s statements were not only damaging to his integrity but also, exposed him and his family to hatred and ridicule.

"The allegations made against [Maile] are false and unfounded, defamatory in nature and injures his reputation.

"Given our client's standing within the community, which standing has been built over several years, we reiterate the fact that your reported virulent statements are slanderous and constitute actionable libel," reads the letter from Pandelani Incorporated.

Maile said Malema had known when he made the statements that they were false, and  he "must withdraw them within two days".

The letter was addressed to Malema and his party.

EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi could not be reached for comment.