AfriForum vs Panyaza Lesufi battle headed to court: what you need to know

26 November 2019 - 11:36 By Unathi Nkanjeni
AfriForum claims Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has been making 'ludicrous claims' against it and will now have to prove them in court.
AfriForum claims Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has been making 'ludicrous claims' against it and will now have to prove them in court.
Image: Panyaza Lesufi via Twitter

AfriForum has threatened to sue Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi for saying the group was behind an assassination plot against him.

Here is what you need to know:

AfriForum's letter and petition 

Last week, AfriForum submitted a letter to Gauteng premier David Makhura demanding Lesufi's dismissal, citing a long history of mismanagement and the division of communities by the MEC.

The letter was one measure the lobby group took in its bid to have Lesufi removed as MEC. Another was an online petition calling for his dismissal.

The group's campaign to remove Lesufi relates, in part, to the Gauteng department of education's struggle to place grade 1 and grade 8 pupils for the 2020 school year.

It also accused Lesufi of constantly attacking schools that offered Afrikaans-only instruction.

Lesufi fights back 

In response, Lesufi took to social media, saying the lobby group was racist and he wouldn't partake in its “racism” fight.

In a series of tweets, Lesufi accused “racists” of trying to harm and attack him.

“My only plea to racists, please don’t harm my kids and my family, as for me you are free to do as you wish,” he said.

It didn't stop there

On Sunday, Lesufi appeared on live TV during a departmental press conference about school placements for 2020 and accused the lobby group of trying to assassinate him.

He also alleged that his family was targeted by the group.

“If they want to fight me, they are free to do that. What they've been doing before.

“They've been following me, they've been following my family, they've been following my children. They've been trying to attack me, they've been trying to assassinate me.”

AfriForum suing 

Lesufi's accusations didn't sit well with the group's CEO, Kallie Kriel, who responded that Lesufi better have evidence to back up what he had said.  

He said Lesufi⁩ had lied and that AfriForum would “legally go for his bank account by suing him for defamation”.

The group's head of policy, Ernst Roets, said Lesufi would have to prove his “ludicrous claims” in court.


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