Gloves come off in Ngqisha’s defamation battle against Troon

Judgment reserved in Bay EFF chair’s R1.6m claim

Bay political head for infrastructure and engineering Khanya Ngqisha is suing GOOD councillor Lawrence Troon for defamation
‘REPUTATION DAMAGED’: Bay political head for infrastructure and engineering Khanya Ngqisha is suing GOOD councillor Lawrence Troon for defamation

EFF Nelson Mandela Bay chair and councillor Khanya Ngqisha says ever since GOOD councillor Lawrence Troon publicly accused him of corruption, he has become a “questionable character” in the public mind.

In addition, he has had to face tough questions from his own party.

Ngqisha was testifying on Tuesday in the Gqeberha magistrate’s court, where he is suing Troon for R1.6m for defamation.

Troon was a no-show during the proceedings and had no legal representation. 

Magistrate Thobile Jikela reserved judgment for April 19.

Taking the stand, Ngqisha accused Troon of making defamatory remarks against him during a TV interview and then repeating the statement on his social media platforms.

“I have had to explain to my organisation about what is happening so I had no choice but to come to court to clear the matter and allegations spread on social media.

“I said to Troon that if he has allegations he should open a case [with the police].”

Ngqisha is the metro’s political head of the infrastructure and engineering department.

“But also, as an MMC [member of the mayoral committee] ... the directorate I lead has one of the biggest budgets when it comes to service delivery and so you become a questionable character until you clean yourself in a public domain.

“Also, because of the kind of allegations Troon made, it is difficult to grow career-wise when you have got such allegations [levelled against you].

“The guy just continues and continues and does not stop.

“He’s using every platform he finds. I’ve got no fear to prove the allegations are false, hence I have come to court.”

In court documents, Ngqisha’s attorney, Lithemba Ncanywa, says on January 11 Troon intentionally made defamatory statements alleging that his client had solicited a R1m bribe from Hive Hydrogen.

At the time, Troon allegedly said: “On the 7th of December, when the item of Hive had to be passed in council, Khanya solicited R1m from Hive and Khanya must pay for that.

“In Nelson Mandela Bay, there is no councillor that is more corrupt than Khanya Ngqisha.”

Troon was speaking during an interview on Newzroom Afrika.

This is the first of four defamation claims Ngqisha has made against Troon.

According to Ncanywa, Troon’s statements were wrongful and defamatory, and made with the sole intention to defame and injure Ngqisha’s reputation.

The statement, according to Ncanywa, was repeated on Troon’s Facebook page, constituting the second claim.

Days later, on January 15, Troon is accused of making further defamatory statements against Ngqisha outside the Humewood police station, where he alleged the EFF councillor was using the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) to strengthen his position in the party by dishing out jobs to EFF members.

Ncanywa said the statements were intended to paint Ngqisha as corrupt.

“The statements were understood by [those he addressed] and were intended by the defendant to mean that the plaintiff is wrongfully using the resources of Nelson Mandela Bay metropolitan municipality for the benefit of the EFF.”

Ncanywa said Troon’s statements were designed to instigate hatred towards Ngqisha and had led to him suffering irredeemable reputational damage.

The fourth claim arises from the submission that Troon repeated the accusation in respect of the EPWP jobs in a Facebook post.

Ncanywa accused Troon of having total disregard for other people’s rights.

Ngqisha is seeking R400,000 for each of the claims.

Troon could not be reached for comment by the time of publication.



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