EFF leader Julius Malema, who is suing a disgruntled former party member for R1m, is refusing to hand over documents to his accuser, saying he fears they could be used against him.

According to a report in The Herald, Malema has asked the Eastern Cape High Court (Port Elizabeth) to declare former MP Thembinkosi Rawula’s claims of corruption against him as defamatory and wants them to be removed from Rawula’s personal Facebook page.

He has also asked the court to order Rawula to publish on social media an unconditional apology for and retraction of the comments he made about Malema and EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu.

Malema is seeking R1m in respect of damages.

Rawula refused to retract his comments and requested that documents, minutes, resolutions, bank statements and the audited financial statements of the EFF be made available to him. He said he wanted proof that Malema had not used EFF funds for his personal gain.

Malema said this request alone proved that Rawula’s approach was to ‘defame now and hope to prove later’.

Given the tension that now existed between the two men, even if he were to provide Rawula with the information, he feared he would attempt to use it against him.

I am caught between two unconscionable choices. Either I refuse to comply with his demands or I acquiesce in them. In the former instance, my silence will be interpreted as an admission and in the latter, if I provide him with the information, he will use it to weaponise against us,’ Malema said.

The report notes the matter has been set down for 10 October.

Full report in The Herald (subscription needed)