Fikile Mbalula laughs off Carl Niehaus' R8m lawsuit

07 May 2021 - 07:00
By unathi nkanjeni AND Unathi Nkanjeni
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula. File photo.
Image: Fikile Mbalula via Twitter Transport minister Fikile Mbalula. File photo.

Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has laughed off Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) spokesperson Carl Niehaus' R8m lawsuit against him. 

Niehaus is suing Mbalula for reputational damage after he called him a “thug” on Twitter last year.

Reacting to the lawsuit on social media, Mbalula shared a meme “side-eying” Niehaus.

In a separate post, Mbalula agreed with former Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa's suggestion that he should counter sue and ask Niehaus to put money into a trust in advance. 

“Exactly,” responded a laughing Mbalula.

Mbalula's “thug” comment dates back to October when he claimed certain members of the association were “thugs calling themselves veterans”. 

This after the association in Gauteng marched against Mbalula, demanding that he be arrested regarding the country's almost defunct train service.

Niehaus called on Mbalula to apologise and retract his comments.

“As a member of the NEC of MKMVA, and national spokesperson of MKMVA I will be negligent in my duties to let this appalling tweet by you, minister Mbalula, go unchallenged. You must retract and apologise,” Niehaus said at the time. 

On Wednesday, Niehaus said he was suing Mbalula because the statements received a wider audience after being carried on mainstream media. 

He said he suffered damages amounting to R8m and an annual interest of 10.25% because of the tweet. 

“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.