Billionare Businessman Patrice Motsepe has filed a claim against a Botswana newspaper, Sunday Standard, over accusing claims that he carried R22 million to impact progression governmental issues of the diamond rich nation.
Motsepe, the founder and director of African Rainbow Minerals, is requesting 5 million pula (R6.7m) in damages for injury to his reputation.
The claim comes after Sunday Standard distributed an article on April 1 featured “New Jerusalem Vic Falls secret meeting scuttled”.
In it, the paper asserted the Mamelodi Sundowns proprietor and his sister, businessperson Bridgette Motsepe-Radebe, gave R22m to Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s crusade ampaign ahead of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party’s elective gathering held a month ago.
Venson-Moitoi is previous president Ian Khama’s partner who was testing Mokgweetsi Masisi for the gathering’s administration.
Some portion of the article read: “By Friday, a team of Botswana Police Service officers were investigating a number of security companies which are allegedly being used to smuggle campaign money into the country.
“This followed unconfirmed reports that South African mining tycoon Patrice Motsepe, who is also brother to Bridgette, had donated R22m to Venson-Moitoi’s campaign, which had already been smuggled into Botswana.”
According to court papers, which The Star has seen, the South African mining magnate is of the view that the statement is defamatory and could imply that he acts illegally and is a dishonest businessman.
“As a result of the publication of the offending statement, the plaintiff has been injured in his reputation and has suffered damages in the amount of P5000000. In the premise, the defendant is liable to the plaintiff in the amount of P500 0000,” reads the court papers.
Motsepe’s representative Sizwe Nzimande affirmed that the legal advisors had laid defamation charges against the Botswana week after week.
“There is some legal action being taken but I can’t go into details because the matter is sub judice,” Nzimande said.
Be that as it may, Sunday Standard editorial manager Outsa Mokone said they were yet to get the claim.
“We have not received any lawsuit from Motsepe. Maybe it’s still on its way. Otherwise, when it arrives it will be treated like any other lawsuit,” Mokone said.
He included that Sunday Standard had gotten more data about the charges he claims implicate Motsepe in the residential issues of Botswana and would complete a subsequent article on Sunday.
Notwithstanding the cash, Motsepe is requesting that the paper distribute, inside five days from date of the court request, an apology on its first page and website.
The expression of remorse, as per court papers, must take up a fourth of the page and stay distributed for seven calender days.
Motsepe needs it to have the accompanying wording: To the extent that the Sunday Standard has made statements on its website stating or implying that Dr Motsepe has behaved illegally and dishonestly, the Sunday Standard hereby unequivocally retracts all such statements and imputations, and unreservedly apologises that they were made.
“The Sunday Standard regrets any inconvenience caused to Dr Motsepe.”
He likewise needs the paper to pay the lawful expenses. The case is before Lobatse High Court Justice Tshepo Motswagole.
In April, Botswana prohibited Motsepe-Radebe and Joburg socialite Malcolm X from entering the nation without visa in the wake of blaming them for being at the focal point of a supposed plot to topple Masisi.
Following the ban, Lindiwe Sisulu, hen the minister of international relations and co-operation, met with Masisi in Gaborone.
In a Facebook posting, Masisi stated: “The special envoy conveyed a message reiterating the longstanding and excellent relations between Botswana and South Africa despite the recent media reports.”