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Patrice Motsepe guns for Andile Mngxitama over 'Botswana regime change' slur

Mining magnate Patrice Motsepe is considering suing Andile Mngxitama over comments on Botswana
Mining magnate Patrice Motsepe is considering suing Andile Mngxitama over comments on Botswana
Image: Thulani Mbele

Billionaire businessman Patrice Motsepe's lawyers have written to BLF leader Andile Mngxitama, warning him to desist from accusing their client of instigating regime change in Botswana or face a lawsuit.

This comes after the controversial Mngxitama on Wednesday accused Motsepe of being part of those "craving Botswana diamonds" in what he believes is a mission in which he is being assisted by his sister, Bridgette Radebe, wife of energy minister Jeff Radebe.

Motsepe, through his lawyers, asked Mngxitama to, by no later than Sunday, confirm in writing that he would not "make any further remarks to the same effect" as the assertion was "untruthful". 

Mngxitama on Friday confirmed to SowetanLIVE that he indeed made the comments, saying Motsepe must rather respond to the remarks by confirming or denying them instead of threatening legal action.

The BLF leader said a visa restriction on Motsepe's sister, Radebe, was enough grounds to believe that she had interfered with internal politics of the neighbouring country. He added that the fact that Botswana was rich in diamonds and Motsepe was involved in mining was another reason to believe the billionaire was involved.

"We know that Botswana's main mineral resource is diamond and Patrice is in mining so is his sister Bridgette so any reasonable person would deduct, and also you have our minister Radebe and our president who are related to the same family making this the most powerful family on the mineral energy complex in SA interfering in Botswana," he alleged.

"So we believe our statement is not slanderous nor libellous but rather it is a call to respect the independence of Botswana.

"This thing can be settled very easy. He must simply tell us that he is not involved and we are open to have a dialogue with him should he feel there is a misunderstanding that must be cleared if there is any such at all." 

Motsepe's laywers said should Mngxitama fail to make a commitment not to repeat his assertion, they would sue him in his personal capacity as well as the BLF.

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