Mbalula slams AfriForum, labels private prosecution a witch hunt

ANC administration boss Fikile Mbalula has slammed the Afrikaner interests lobby group AfriForum as mischievous and pursuing a witch hunt against him.

This comes after AfriForum announced that it had obtained the docket on Mbalula relating to his controversial trip to Dubai during his time in government.

Mbalula, while on the election campaign trail in Soweto on Wednesday, said it was worrying that such a move was coming at the height of the election campaign and just days before millions of South Africans cast their votes next Wednesday.

AfriForum is playing politics

“It is mischief and a witch hunt. If they believe they have what it takes to pursue anything, they can, but there is nothing against me. They’re just threatening,” said Mbalula.

“Mischief is what this case is about. They have no case against me, and I have never been charged in any court of law.

“I’m a citizen of South Africa, and the point they’re raising is a non-issue. There has never been a finding against me, even by the public protector, who referred the matter to the NPA [National Prosecuting Authority], and the NPA refused to prosecute.

“They have been investigating me for 10 years, and there is nothing.”

Mbalula went on: “AfriForum is playing politics, which I categorise as mischief. I don’t have the docket they have, and I don’t want to have it. We are in the middle of the campaign.”

He said he was considering his option to take legal action against AfriForum for “bismirching” his name.

“I will have to look in terms of the law; what are my rights? There is nothing here; it’s all mischief and witch-hunting.”

Selective prosecution

AfriForum believes otherwise after issuing a press statement saying there is a case to answer for Mbalula.

“Despite shortfalls, the evidence suggests Mbalula has several benefactors who fund his extravagant lifestyle,” said Barry Bateman, the spokesperson for AfriForum.

“The question arises: why were these leads not followed up? Claims made in affidavits were accepted at face value and not scrutinised.

“Notably, a statement from one of Mbalula’s main benefactors was not included in the docket.

“We are shocked, but not surprised, because we warned the National Prosecuting Authority of a clear conflict of interest because of our family relations with a senior NPA official.

“Mbalula’s matter may be the clearest case yet of selective prosecution, where a politically connected person and his well-to-do benefactors are sheltered from prosecution.”

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