AfriForum has filed papers in its defamation suit against Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi following his televised claim in November that they were trying to ‘assassinate’ him, notes a News24 report.

AfriForum threatened to sue Lesufi over the claims last year, and filed papers last week. Lesufi has implied the court papers were prompted by his comments about Orania, tweeting: ‘My sin was to speak against #Orania like other previous attempts, this one will also fail. I hate racism with a passion but I am addicted to non-racialism.’

However, AfriForum CEO Kallie Kriel told News24 that the case was filed before Lesufi's comments about Orania.

‘He is thus blatantly lying by linking it to Orania, just as he lied when he created the assassination conspiracy theory,’ said Kriel. The legal action revolves around comments broadcast during a media briefing in November last year, in which Lesufi claimed AfriForum has been following him, his children, and had been trying to assassinate him.

AfriForum head of policy and action Ernst Roets said at the time that the organisation had done ‘none of the things’ that Lesufi alleged.

The court papers, filed on 22 June, allege Lesufi accused the organisation of ‘devious attempts to build an Afrikaans only university’, as well as that he said ‘non-racialism is foreign’ to AfriForum, and that the organisation was ‘promoting racist tendencies’.

The defendant knew that the reporters and representatives would publish that which the defendant would state at the media conference, AfriForum said in court papers.

The suit calls for a public apology to be made at a media briefing called for that purpose. The apology would require Lesufi to list the allegations made against the organisation, and for him to apologise in his personal capacity as well as in his role as Gauteng Education MEC.

Full News24 report