Carl Niehaus wants R8m from Fikile Mbalula for ‘thug’ post
Says he suffered reputational damage
ANC Luthuli House staffer and Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) spokesperson Carl Niehaus is suing transport minister Fikile Mbalula for R8m for reputational damage.
Niehaus claims in court papers that by calling him a “thug” on Twitter, among other names, Mbalula was deliberately injuring his reputation.
The lawsuit emanates from Mbalula’s Twitter outburst a few months ago when he attacked Niehaus and MKMVA president Kebby Maphatsoe by saying they were criminals, and announced his displeasure about how they were running the military veterans organisation.
“The defendant made the impugned statement unlawfully and with the intention to injure the plaintiff’s reputation and defame the plaintiff,” Niehaus says in his court papers filed at the South Gauteng High Court.
“The statement is wrongful and defamatory per se of the plaintiff and made with the intention of defaming the plaintiff and injuring his reputation.”
Niehaus said Mbalula basically told the entire country that he was corrupt, engaged in criminal conduct and promoted corruption, among other claims. He claimed the statements made on Twitter received a wider audience after Newzroom Afrika carried the tweet.
Niehaus maintained that due to Mbalula’s statements, he suffered damages amounting to R8m and annual interest of 10.25%.
“That the defendant is ordered to pay to the plaintiff jointly and severally the amount of R8m. Interest on the aforesaid amount at the rate of 10.25% per annum tempore morae to date of payment,” Niehaus said.
He also wants Mbalula to pay for the cost of the lawsuit.
On Wednesday afternoon Mbalula said he was yet to receive the papers.