This comes as the Bloemfontein High Court granted the ANCYL in the province its request on Tuesday, April 23, for a postponement in the defamation suit, pushing the two-day proceedings to August. The ANCYL spokesperson, Sello Peterson, has dismissed the claims as “baseless”.
He adds the claims “will not stand in a court of law”. Peterson says they have been advised to not comment further seeing as it is still going to be heard in court, but maintains that they made those comments as a political organisation, in response to another political organisation’s own comments.
At the centre of the contentious statements, is ANC Secretary-General and former Free State Premier Ace Magashule’s controversial Honourary Doctorate awarded by the Turkish tertiary institution, Bahcesehir University, in 2017. The DA – Jankielsohn in particular - cast doubt around the legitimacy of the honorary doctorate, alleging the Turkish University in question had received approximately R32 million from the provincial government over the 2016/17 financial year prior to awarding Magashule the doctorate.
He explains that the ANCYL made defamatory and derogatory comments about him in the public space thereafter.
“The ANCYL made defamatory comments about me, calling me a clown, a redneck, a racist, a Chihuahua and various other things instead of dealing with the issues which we raised, they chose to defame me in a statement in public,” says Jankielsohn.
The two parties, with their legal counsel, met on Tuesday morning before proceedings were meant to get underway. Jankielsohn says the respondents requested a postponement which he agreed to on condition that the ANCYL cover legal costs meant for the two-day sitting.
They thereafter applied and obtained a cost order against the respondents.
Jankielsohn expresses disappointment that they were unable to continue, telling OFM News, “I would have preferred for the case to go on”. Despite this, he considers the granting of the cost order as a victory.