A top soccer boss has turned to the Pretoria High Court in an urgent attempt to gag a Sunday newspaper from publishing "defamatory" statements linking him and his company to the recent assassination of the Local Mbombela Municipality speaker Jimmy Mohlala, writes Zelda Venter in the Pretoria News.
Kaizer Chiefs' manager, Bobby Motaung, wants an interim order interdicting the Sunday World from publishing further articles suggesting that he or his company Lefika Emerging Equity Ltd was involved in the killing.
Motaung's counsel, Mike Maritz SC, said this is until the matter could be fully argued before court and the judge can then, at that stage, decide to either confirm the interdict or to dismiss it.
Motaung is aggrieved by an article published in the newspaper on January 11 under the headline "Mohlala Silenced", with a strap heading "Speaker was to blow whistle".
The article, written by award-winning journalist Mzilikazi wa Afrika, stated that Mohlala was shot dead in his home in KaNyamazane outside Nelspruit – a day before he was due to open a case of fraud against Lefika.
It was stated that Mohlala claimed that Motaung and his company had submitted a letter to their bank using a fraudulent letter from Mbombela Local Municipality to motivate a request for an overdraft.
It was further stated that Mohlala was going to lobby that the municipality fire Lefika as the Mbombela stadium project manager when the council resumed its business the next day.
Mention was also made in the article of officials who received death threats after the "fraudulent letter" came to light.
Motaung said in a statement before court that the article was defamatory of him and his company.
He said: "It contains the sting that the first applicant (the company) and I were responsible for the assassination of the deceased and for the death threats mentioned in the article."
Click here to read the full report, posted on iol.co.za.