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Former ANC NEC member Trevor Manuel has sent out a threat for legal action against TV anchor Dr JJ Tabane for claims that he was one of high profile personnel who were at the helm of the formation of COPE when it was formed after breaking away from the ANC.
Dr Tabane was interviewed in the Hustlers Corner podcast by businessman DJ Sbu. He also said that former President Thabo Mbeki and former finance minister were among the people who gave life to COPE.
Manuel said Tabane’s utterances are malicious and have caused damage to his image and has ordered him to retract and issue public apology.
“During the aforementioned interview you boldly claimed that I and other several others played a role in the formation of COPE. After mentioning you said “they an deny all they want”, and “He (in reference to me) can be as angry as he wants.” Well I am not angry but I am outraged at the false you spread. Your statement is simply not true. You peddled this false narrative in the full knowledge of it’s falseness by virtue of, at least, your involvement in the formation of COPE at the time.”
“At the time of the founding of Cope, I was a member of the national executive committee of the ANC. I remained a member of the NEC until I stepped down at the 53rd national conference that convened in Mangaung in December 2012. Your accusation that I was involved in the formation of Cope while an NEC member of the ANC impugns my integrity.”
“From my perspective, you have accused me of duplicitous conduct. This incorrect perception, unless immediately retracted and corrected, can and will take hold in the minds of the public at large, thereby undermining my standing in the broader South African community.”
“You will appreciate your wrongful and unlawful conduct has caused me and continues to cause me great harm,” Manuel continued on the offensive. “In the circumstances, I hereby call upon you to unreservedly withdraw the false, wrongful and unlawful statements you made of and concerning me during the aforesaid interview and ensure that your apology is prominently published in the print and electronic format media. I also require you to apologise for the harm your unlawful conduct has caused and continues to cause me.”
Manuel added that he gives Dr Tabane until the close business by Wednesday to retract his statements or have legal action taken against him.
Dr Tabane hit back and said he sticks to his words and Manuel can do whatever he feels is right.
“I was interviewed on The Hustlers Corner and was asked a question relating to the formation of Cope. I responded to this question and nothing in my answer was defamatory, contrary to what you (Manuel) allege,” said Dr Tabane.
“I therefore stand by that answer and have no intention of withdrawing it or making any apology as demanded by you. If you choose to take legal action, I will defend it vigorously.”