Deputy mayor still vows he will not pay cent of R500 000 defamation lawsuit
Deputy mayor Mongameli Bobani has missed the deadline to oppose the R500 000 defamation lawsuit against him by Nelson Mandela Bay senior manager Vuyo Zitumane.
Despite not filing his plea by Thursday morning, Bobani was adamant yesterday that he would not pay Zitumane a cent.
Zitumane’s attorney, Gerald Friedman, said because Bobani had not yet filed his answering papers, he would be placed on terms and would have one week to respond.
Should he not respond, they would ask the court to give a judgment on the matter.
Zitumane is suing Bobani over his alleged defamatory claims of corruption against her.
Yesterday, Bobani said he would defend the court action.
“From my side I am not going to comment. I am only going to say that this matter is sub judice.
“But I am going to tell you that I am not going to pay her. I am not going to pay her one cent.
“We must all wait for the court processes to take place,” he said.
Zitumane’s court papers filed last month state that Bobani, in at least five instances, alleged she was corrupt. The papers refer to articles published in The Herald and Sunday Times as well as a meeting with mayor Athol Trollip and others when Bobani allegedly called Zitumane corrupt.
Zitumane states in court papers: “The statements made by [Bobani] are, in their ordinary meaning, defamatory, and alternatively and in any event, are intended to mean and were understood by persons hearing the statements, reading the publications and/or television viewers, that [Zitumane] is a dishonest, corrupt individual.
“The averments that [Zitumane] is corrupt are wrongful and defamatory of [Bobani] in that they were intended and indeed are understood by all persons to mean that [she] is a dishonest and corrupt individual and thus does not qualify for employment, either in the metro, or in any other government or quasi government organisation.
“As a result of the defamation, [Zitumane] has been damaged in her reputation and has suffered damages in the sum of R500 000, which amount is due and payable, but which amount [Bobani] refuses to pay.”