JJ Tabane Slams ‘Hypersensitive And Entitled’ Trevor Manuel.. Television host and businessman JJ Tabane has told the Johannesburg high court that Trevor Manuel’s urgent defamation lawsuit against him smacks of a “hypersensitive and entitled” individual.
Tabane is petitioning the court in his responding papers to dismiss Manuel’s contention that his application is urgent.
The outspoken political commentator insists he has not defamed the former finance minister and called on the court to dismiss the application.
The tussle between the duo emanates from claims made by Tabane that Manuel was involved in the formation of ANC splinter party Cope, “in the background”.
Tabane said he stood by this assertion and if need be he was prepared to call “big guns”, including former president Thabo Mbeki, Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota and Mbhazima Shilowa to prove his case.
Tabane said he would not apologise and withdraw his remarks as he believed they were true and in the public interest.
He had acquired the information that Manuel was involved in the formation of Cope from some of its founding members, such as the late Ayanda Nkuhlu and former Cope presidential candidate in the 2009 national polls, Reverend Mvume Dandala.
Manuel could not insist on urgency and should wait in the queue like others who instituted defamation cases in the high court.
“Mr Manuel’s hypersensitivity and sense of entitlement is no valid reason to jump the queue. Mr Manuel has not placed any evidence before the court what difference it will make, if any, if his relief is ordered later than the first week of June 2022,” Tabane submitted, adding that “the matter is clearly not urgent and should be struck off the urgent roll with costs”.
Tabane believes the remarks he made during an episode of a Podcast hosted by Sbusiso “DJ Sbu” Leope were not widely circulated until Manuel started sending him letters demanding his apology.
Manuel should be happy such remarks were made, for the accusation would put one on a pedestal, as was the case with others who rejected the ascendancy of former president Jacob Zuma to the union buildings.
After what Tabane calls “rapacious looting of the country” under Zuma, he submitted that being involved in the formation of Cope “would be regarded as morally upright, courageous and a patriotic thing to have done”.
The accusation was in any case true and in the public interest, according to Tabane.
If Manuel persisted with denying this, Tabane would be left with no choice but to “unleash big guns” to testify.
“If this matter goes to trial, I am quite prepared to subpoena all the necessary witnesses, such as Lekota, Shilowa, Tito Mboweni and even president Mbeki.”
The former Cope spokesperson accused Manuel of “abusing court process” to have a second bite for losing an appeal against the EFF at the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein, and being denied apex court access when he attempted to take the matter to Braamfontein.
Tabane also has a supporting affidavit to back his claim, deposed to by ex-Cope national youth leader Anele Mda, who claims to have witnessed a call between Manuel and Cope co-founder Mluleki George discussing sensitive matters.
Mda claimed the call took place when he was travelling in a car in October 2008 with George to the airport, wherein Manuel allegedly called and George activated the speaker phone.
“Mr Manuel was seeking feedback from the meeting we had just attended and inquiring about the preparations for the national convention and Mr George gave him the full briefing.” .
Three of Tabane’s four key witnesses, the Nkuhlu brothers and George, are deceased.