Julius Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), says that Pravin Gordhan should decline an imminent Cabinet offer – pending the results of the Public Protector’s review.
The fierce battle between Malema and Gordhan has entered a new era, one fraught with further allegations of political impunity endorsed and advanced by the media of South Africa. According to Malema, who made a fiery rebuttal on eNCA on Tuesday morning, Gordhan should be excluded from President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet, due to the Public Protector’s most recent report.
Public Protector implicates Gordhan in wrongdoing
Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, finalised a damning
report last week Friday, in which she advised President Ramaphosa to take
immediate disciplinary action against Gordhan. This recommendation stems from an
early retirement package allotted to SARS deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay, in
Gordhan has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and, together with his legal counsel, has instituted a review process of the Mkhwebane’s report.
The timing of the report has been especially contentious – a fact dissected by Gordhan, his detractors and supporters alike. President Ramaphosa is required, by law, to announce his cabinet this week. The findings of Mkhwebane’s report – and subsequent remedial action recommendations – complicate Gordhan’s Cabinet aspirations.
Malema, who has been locked in a war of words – and litigation – with Gordhan, says that the Public Protector must be protected. As such, Malema explained that Ramaphosa could not, in good conscience, offer Gordhan a Cabinet position until the report was properly reviewed. Malema explained that he would back Mkhwebane in the face of reprisal, saying:
“We are in support of the constitution and when we protect the constitution, we are protecting the Chapter 9 institution. When you are not happy with the Public Protectors report, why remove the Public Protector?”
Julius Malema points to ‘media conspiracy’
Malema, and his party, have also been accused of wrongdoing –
specifically with regards to ‘looted’ funds from VBS Mutual Bank. The
allegations, which were first raised last year due to familial relations
implicated in the saga, have been uncovered by investigative journalist, Pauli
In an article published by Van Wyk on the Daily Maverick, entitled “‘Cruising nicely’ on VBS: EFF’s Parties, Lies and Looted Money”, the journalist alleges that the EFF scored in excess of R4 million through the looting of VBS.
Van Wyk also alleges that some of this money was used to fund
the EFF’s fourth birthday party in July 2017 – which was held Eyadini Lounge in
These recent allegations surfaced on Monday afternoon. Malema says that the timing of Van Wyk’s report is suspicious, insinuating that the journalist was protecting Gordhan by deflecting attention to the EFF. Malema claimed that Van Wyk was ‘recycling’ accusations.
He added that the EFF would not be shaken by the ‘baseless’ reports, adding that their main focus was holding Gordhan to account. He made the comparison between journalists – being ‘lizard’s – and Gordhan being ‘the crocodile’, saying:
“I am faced with a crocodile, I cannot pay attention to Lizards. The parties name is not tainted, the aim of the story was to destroy the EFF but the General Elections have proven that the EFF is strong.”