EFF leader Julius Malema gave Patriotic Alliance chairperson Kenny Kunene until the close of business yesterday to withdraw alleged ‘defamatory statements’ he made during a TV interview last week or face a R1m lawsuit.

According to a Sunday Times Daily report, Kunene – who was responding to Malema’s reference to PA leaders as ‘pantiti’ (convicts) – referred to the EFF leader as a little frog, an irritating cockroach and a criminal, among other things, during an interview with eNCA.

Malema is now accusing Kunene of hate speech and tribalism, and wants him and the PA to retract the statements or face being sued for R1m each.

Malema’s lawyers, Ian Levitt Attorneys, have written to Kunene, calling on him to retract comments they say have caused ‘significant reputational damage’ to their client.

‘Your defamatory statements and/or conduct are vexatious, misplaced, spurious and untrue,’ reads the letter to Kunene.

The EFF leader is also considering laying complaints with the Electoral Commission for Kunene’s conduct, which he says is a breach of the Electoral Act and the Electoral Code, and to bring proceedings against both him and his party before the Electoral Court.

A similar letter was dispatched to PA’s leader Gayton McKenzie demanding that he publicly distance himself from Kunene’s statements and that his party retract the statements made against Malema.

Full Sunday Times Daily report (subscription needed)