The threat of legal action and having to cough up R750 000 can get even the most scorned lovers to backtrack on their claims.
Last week, Katlego Mamabolo was confidently accusing ex-lover Malaika Mahlatsi of ghost-writing a Ph.D. thesis for her boss, Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina.
He also said Mahlatsi told him Masina had forced members of his mayoral committee to donate 33% of their incomes to the Covid-19 Solidarity Fund. Mamabolo, the chief director at Rectitude Private Prosecutions, even promised to release an audio in which Mahlatsi admitted to doing the work for the mayor.
But on Monday, with his tail between his legs and a looming lawsuit, Mamabolo humbled himself and apologized to both Masina and Mahlatsi, a speechwriter in the mayor’s office.
Last week, his former lover of just two weeks was suspended from her position and threatened to sue him for defamation.
In a statement on Monday, Mamabolo apologized to Mahlatsi. “The defamatory allegations which I leveled against her on the 10th of May 2020, the nature of these allegations implicate her in academic dishonesty, as they create the impression that she is doing the Ph.D. of Cllr Mzwandile Masina, this is not true and I, therefore, retract all statements which speak to that.”
He said he understood his statement had damaged the integrity of Masina’s office. He further apologized to Masina calling him “an outstanding leader of society and academic”.
“It is in that context that I offer my apology to him and put it on record that through his various academic achievements, he has demonstrated a personal commitment to academic work,” Mamabolo said.
He said his short-lived relationship with Mahlatsi was mutually consensual. “I conduct a lot of business on the phone and have installed a call recording application since last year. I regret that this tool was used to betray the trust birthed from our relationship as lovers, it was on the basis of that relationship that she shared with me her frustrations, it was never with the intention to put the City of Ekurhuleni into disrepute.”
In a statement on Facebook yesterday, Mahlatsi said the lies peddled by Mamabolo had far-reaching consequences, calling what happened to her a travesty. “My intellectual work and contributions to the ideational space speak for themselves. That my appointment in the Office of the Executive Mayor was brought into question is an attack on my hard work and on the stripes that I have, through sweat and tears, earned. It was wrong. Equally wrong was the aspersions cast on my intellectual and academic integrity, as well as that of my boss, who has never at any point asked me or anyone else to write a Ph.D. for him. What happened last week was a travesty. It was wrong and it should never have happened,” Mahlatsi said.
Masina and his spokesperson Phakamile Mbengashe could not be reached on Monday.