Panyaza Lesufi, Gauteng MEC for Education, officially retracted his allegations that AfriForum attempted to assassinate him and stalked his children. Lesufi made these allegations during a media conference in Johannesburg on 24 November 2019. He also officially expressed his regrets to AfriForum for making these false statements.
Lesufi’s about-turn on his vindictive statements against AfriForum is contained in a joint media statement that Lesufi as well as AfriForum published on their respective media platforms. The joint media statement is the result of mediation between the parties about Lesufi’s statements against AfriForum. The mediation was held after AfriForum’s legal team had instituted a libel action against Lesufi.
Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum, says in reaction to Lesufi’s about-turn that Lesufi’s regrets about the allegations and the fact that he has now retracted his allegations confirm that the allegations against AfriForum had been nothing but blatant lies.
According to Kriel, Lesufi complied with AfriForum’s demands by officially retracting his allegations. There is no reason therefore to continue with the libel actions against Lesufi. “Taxpayers would have paid for Lesufi’s legal fees in the libel case. However, since R431 million has already been plundered by Lesufi’s department in the school sanitation debacle, AfriForum wants to prevent more taxpayer money from being wasted on Lesufi’s legal costs,” Kriel says.
The joint media statement reads as follows:
Joint Statement by Mr Panyaza Lesufi and AfriForum – 24 October 2021
In current times, there is an obligation on all parties to mend fences rather than break them and to take all actions that will promote dialogue and minimize the opportunity for confrontation and polarization.
The Member of the Executive Committee, Mr Panyaza Lesufi (“MEC”) regrets that he had made utterances on 24 November 2019 that gave the impression that AfriForum had attempted to assassinate him and had been stalking his children. In consequence, the MEC retracts those utterances.
The MEC states that he is under regular attack from various sources and that his utterances should be viewed against such background.
The MEC accepts that his utterances regarding AfriForum have caused a rift between the parties. However, the parties hereby commit to constructive engagement in an attempt to prevent a repeat of such a situation and to address any issues which may arise in the future. The parties have their differences however they have met in the past and have debated issues and are committed to doing so in the future.
End of joint statement