Thembisile Mlambo-Mutlanyana, 43, told the police that Mashatile “pushed” her “like a dog” and “screamed and shouted” at her in full view of his VIP protection unit bodyguards and her sobbing 11-year-old daughter.
Mashatile denied the allegations yesterday, saying he never laid a hand on her. His wife, Manzi, dismissed Mlambo-Mutlanyana’s claims as “lies”.
Mlambo-Mutlanyana said the incident played out last Thursday morning in front of the gate of the Mashatile home in Kelvin, northern Johannesburg.
Police spokesman Inspector Moses Maphakela confirmed that Mlambo-Mutlanyana had laid a complaint of assault at the Sandton Police Station on Tuesday. Mlambo-Mutlanyana told the Sunday Times that there was “no need for (Mashatile) to harass me and push me around in front of my child and the police”.
“All I wanted was my money, which they had been promising to pay back for several months now,” she said, adding that after the incident Mashatile had sneeringly dared her to file criminal charges against him.
Mlambo-Mutlanyana also laid a complaint of “theft under false pretences” against Manzi, after she allegedly cashed company cheques totalling R750000 during the two years they were partners in a construction firm, Tema Women Group.
Mlambo-Mutlanyana said she arrived at the Mashatile’s upmarket home just after 7am last Thursday because she wanted to confront them before they left for work. She claimed they had ignored several of her calls.
This was not the first altercation she had had with them over the missing money. She and Manzi had come to blows in a crowded restaurant in Sandton’s Village Walk in July, where they punched each other in full view of other diners.
After the brawl, Mlambo-Mutlanyana said they both filed counter-charges of assault against each other but later dropped them, after allegedly reaching an agreement that the cash would be repaid.
“I asked her about the money and things got out of hand and we hit each other in the restaurant. It was not nice,” she said.
Manzi refused to comment on the alleged restaurant brawl but denied an agreement was reached to pay her former business partner any cash.
Both Mashatile and Manzi said on Saturday that they were unaware that charges of assault and theft had been laid against them this week and both vehemently denied the allegations. Mashatile said he was “surprised” because he had “never laid a hand” on Mlambo- Mutlanyana.
Manzi said her former friend was “lying” and “on a mission” to discredit her and her husband, who was appointed Gauteng premier two months ago, following the resignation of Mbhazima Shilowa. “She is just a liar. She is trying to mess up my name,” said Manzi.
Manzi confirmed that a bitter spat had taken place outside her home last Thursday but said it was Mlambo-Mutlanyana who initiated the drama when she screamed and shouted outside their gates. “We’ve been friends for a long time... I don’t know why she is doing this,” she said.
Mashatile said: “I went outside to investigate the noise... I never pushed her... I didn’t do anything to her.”
But Mlambo-Mutlanyana, who is sticking to her story, said she was “fed up” with the Mashatile’s “bullying tactics”.
She said her lengthy dispute with Manzi had left her “emotionally and financially shattered” and her company had suffered “severe financial loss”.
She said she did not even have the R200000 deposit necessary to secure attorneys to sue Manzi. “I want this thing to come to an end now. Even my kids are traumatised,” she said.
Maphakela said statements would be sought from the Mashatiles this week, after which the docket would be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions for a decision on whether to prosecute.