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Maphatsoe's eligibility as MKMVA member questioned in defamation case

Ronnie Kasrils and Kebby Maphatsoe reached a settlement in the Pretoria High Court yesterday.

Former Deputy Defence Minister Ronnie Kasrils testified at the Seriti Commission of Inquiry, which is investigating allegations of fraud, corruption and irregularities in the multi-billion rand deal. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN

PRETORIA - Questions over Kebby Maphatsoe's eligibility to lead and even be a member of the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association appear to have prompted him to settle the defamation suit brought against him by former Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils.

The parties reached a settlement in the high court in Pretoria yesterday, which will see Maphatsoe pay Kasrils R500,000 as well as cover his legal costs.

Kasrils sued the MKMVA boss for calling him a counter-revolutionary and accusing him of setting up President Jacob Zuma on rape charges.

Advocate Dali Mpofu referred Kasrils to the Umkhonto we Sizwe code of conduct, which states that an act of desertion by a soldier constitutes bringing the organisation into disrepute.

Mpofu then referred to the military veterans' association's regulations, which disqualifies any person from being a member if found guilty of such a crime.

He then referred to Maphatsoe, who deserted from an MK camp in Uganda in 1991, saying he will argue that Maphatsoe doesn't even qualify to be a member of the association.

Proceedings were then adjourned and a deal was struck but later, Maphatsoe appeared camera shy.

"I do indeed accept the apology and I think the media would like to hear you express your apology," Kasrils said to Maphatsoe after the deal was struck.

Kasrils says he'll donate the settlement award to Zuma's rape accuser.