ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule is planning legal action against those linking him to the establishment of African Transformation Movement (ATM), one of the many small parties that emerged ahead of the 8 May national elections. Some have alleged that the party has links to former President Jacob Zuma and Magashule, the former President’s long-time ally.

Former secretary-general of the SA Council of Messianic Churches in Christ, Buyisile Ngqulwana, while having dropped a legal bid to have ATM removed from the ballot paper, has continued to claim the party was the brainchild of Zuma and Magashule.

Magashule and the ATM appear to be ready to explore legal means to make the matter go away, says a News24 report. The ATM announced last week it was seeking R22m for defamation from Ngqulwana, while Magashule’s lawyers have written to him, giving him several days to retract his claims or face legal action.

In a letter from Magashule’s lawyers, dated 26 June, the ANC secretary-general raises questions over an affidavit compiled on 1 May this year, alleging his involvement in the establishment of the ATM.

‘Our client vehemently denies the allegations contained in your affidavit as wholly false, baseless, mischievous and not supported by any evidence whatsoever,’ according to a letter from Victor Nkawshu Attorneys.

The letter proceeds to explain the damage Magashule had suffered due to the now abandoned affidavit. The lawyers says that, if Ngqulwana fails to apologise and retract his comments within five days, they will have no other option but to file a defamation suit forcing him to apologise, with costs.

Meanwhile, notes the report, the ANC is investigating Magashule and others in the ANC over claims that they had a hand in the development of some small parties.

Full News24 report