By Samkelo Mtshali
Home Affairs Deputy Minister Njabulo Nzuza, who is also the former secretary general of the ANC Youth League, has been forced to apologise to EFF leader Julius Malema for accusing him of bribing officials from the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) for a senior position in the IUSY.
The Citizen reported that in 2018 Nzuza had accused Malema of attempting to bribe his way into the presidency of the Austrian-based organisation while he was still the president of the ANCYL.
Nzuza’s apology for the bribery accusations leveled against Malema, the leader of the EFF, followed an out of court settlement.
In 2018 Nzuza told radio station Power FM that the Youth League was a member of the IUSY at the time that Malema made the bribery attempts and that those attempts had led to the expulsion of the ANCYL from the international organisation, with the ANC’s youth wing only being later readmitted to the body.
Nzuza said that the ANCYL leadership that he was part of, led by Collen Maine, which succeeded the expelled Malema’s Youth League in 2015, had to clean up the mess left by Malema and those he had led with in the ANCYL before they were expelled in 2012.
Malema proceeded to sue Nzuza for R1 million over the IUYS bribery accusations.
Nzuza’s letter of apology to Malema was carried in The Citizen on Thursday.
When quizzed by Independent Media on whether he had also apologised to Malema either in person, telephonically or in text and whether Malema had accepted the apology and rescinded the demand for R1 million in damages, Nzuza said:
“The apology was part of the out of court settlement reached and it was approved by him through his lawyers.”
EFF spokesperson Vuyani Pambo did not respond to questions sent via text.
Nzuza’s letter, as carried by The Citizen, read:
I Njabulo B Nzuza would like to state that my articulations on a radio interview in my capacity as the Secretary General of the ANCYL on Power FM, on 18 September 2018 were unfortunate and should have not happened. This was followed by a story carried by City Press newspaper on the same matter. It is regrettable that all these had happened.
I would like to apologise for accusing Mr J Malema on the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) bribery accusation.
The accusations that Mr Malema bribed officials of the IUSY were pronounced impulsively by me based on reports I received in a formal meeting.
I should have taken precarious action by firstly verifying these reports before they were said in public. It is against this basis I would like to unreservedly apologise for the statements made on Power FM and subsequently the publication made to the City Press.
I have always conducted myself in the spirit of mutual respect and maintaining cordial political relations, this is despite our different political views.
That is why I take this opportunity to unreservedly withdraw the statements that were made in this regard.
A copy of this apology will be forwarded to the two publications cited above to register this apology.