The DA leader was given a deadline of 6pm yesterday to issue an apology for his claims, but had not yet responded.
The leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA), Mmusi Maimane, said he will see the five ex-DA councillors targeting him for alleged defamation in court.
The five former party members said they had instructed an attorney to institute legal action against Maimane. The members want him to withdraw comments made suggesting their resignations were because they were implicated in the Bowmans report.
“I will see them in court, those people. My lawyers will deal with those people, I don’t have time for … so we will deal with that issue,” Maimane said.
But the DA issued an updated version of Maimane’s newsletter, titled Bokamoso, with the following disclaimer: “Friday’s Bokamoso contained a factual inaccuracy regarding the role of the five former DA councillors in Cape Town, an error for which we apologise. Please find below the corrected version.”
Friday’s version read that the five had not thought the party was racist in the previous months until “a credible forensic investigation by a credible legal firm has allegedly implicated them in tender irregularities”.
At a press briefing on Sunday, the five – Shawn August, Suzette Little, Siya Mamkeli, Thulani Stemele, and Greg Bernado – said they were to take on Maimane. Little dismissed allegations that their exit was a result of the Bowmans report.
“Let me just state this report has been coming since last year when the council decided there had to be an investigation. At no time was any one of the five mentioned; at no time was any of the five interviewed. At no time were we accused of any corruption or any participation.”
The group gave Maimane a deadline of 6pm yesterday to issue an apology for his claims. August, former Cape Town chief whip, told The Citizen yesterday they had not received a response from Maimane and would consult their lawyers to discuss legal action for defamation.
Following report of a split in the DA, August said he and his fellow councillors have been consulting interested parties around the country, after their exodus from the DA. This included former members of the Independent Democrats, outgoing Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille’s party, that merged with the DA in 2009.
“Give us a few weeks. We are consulting with our ex-colleagues. We have received messages from Mpumalanga, Limpopo, North West and the Eastern Cape from DA members and former members,” said August.
“That consultation process must then go its route and then we will take a decision. I can’t say more than that