JJ Tabane appoints Eric Mabuza to fight his corner against Manuel
Television anchor and political commentator JJ Tabane has appointed attorney Eric Mabuza to represent him in his battle with former finance minister Trevor Manuel.
Mabuza has written to Manuel's attorneys denying Tabane had made “false and defamatory statements against Mr Manuel” and refusing to withdraw his claims that Manuel was involved in the formation of ANC splinter party COPE.
“Our client will not be complying with the demands made in your letter and will oppose any proceedings brought by your client,” Mabuza told Manuel's attorneys, Webber Wentzel.
Manuel had given Tabane until the end of Wednesday to retract “falsehoods” uttered during an interview that he was involved in the formation of COPE while serving as an ANC national executive committee (NEC) member.
“You will appreciate your wrongful and unlawful conduct has caused me and continues to cause me great harm,” Manuel said in a letter to Tabane.
“In the circumstances, I hereby call upon you to unreservedly withdraw the false, wrongful and unlawful statements you made of and concerning me ... and ensure that your apology is prominently published in the print and electronic format media.
“I also require you to apologise for the harm your unlawful conduct has caused and continues to cause me.”
Following Tabane’s allegations against Manuel and other high-ranking ANC leaders, NEC member Lindiwe Sisulu wrote to party leader Cyril Ramaphosa asking him to open an investigation.