South Africa

Tit-for-Tat charges

EFF claims to have given ‘evidence’ to police of Gordhan’s alleged criminality

Pravin Gordhan arrives with his staff to present his Budget Policy speech to Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, 22 February 2017. The speech outlines the current state of the economy and governments plan going forward. EPA/NIC BOTHMA. JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – AUGUST 28: Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema addresses the media at the party’s headquarters on August 28, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. After Athol Trollip’s removal as Nelson Mandela Bay mayor, Malema reiterated that it is only a matter of time before the same happens to Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga. (Photo by Gallo Images / Sowetan / Alaister Russell)

Julius Malema has laid counter charges against Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan on a wide range of issues relating to his alleged role in state corruption. As the 2019 national election draws nearer, politicians seem hell-bent on carving out their place in the national media space.

We gave evidence to the police about the crimes committed by Pravin from 1999 till 2014,” said EFF Commander-in-Chief Julius Malema, outside the Brooklyn Police Station – the same place Pravin Gordhan laid charges against two top EFF leaders on Monday.

Unlike Gordhan, who arrived at the police station with his lawyer and spokesperson to lay charges of defamation and inflammatory statements by Malema and his deputy, Floyd Shivambu, the EFF arrived with two busloads of supporters in tow to lay counter charges.

The EFF has charged that Gordhan has:

  • contravened the intelligence act by forming an unauthorised and unlawful intelligence gathering unit of SARS (rogue unit) and using it to spy on taxpayers, politicians;
  • participated in State Capture as a member of the Cabinet and failed to report corrupt activities;
  • set up a bank account in Canada with the Royal Bank of Canada, Montreal, wherein he “ordered various taxpayers to deposit large amounts of money into the account in exchange for favours”.

We gave the police the bank details of the bank account in Canada,” said Malema.

According to the Malema, the EFF has a long “list of people who were told to deposit money into the account” and were now prepared to speak in exchange for immunity.

Further charges include perjury for lying in Parliament and at the Zondo Commision about the number of times he met with the Guptas and about his “unlawful activities with his daughter”, Anisha Gordhan.

Anisha Gordhan has also been charged by the EFF for fraud in her business dealings and for allegedly receiving tenders as a result of Gordhan’s connections in government.

Malema said the party’s evidence includes the Sikhakahne Panel Report (which found that the so-called SARS rogue unit had been unlawfully established),banking details, confidential statements of key witnesses and Gordhan’s State Capture commission affidavit.

I am not Mandela, you push me and I push back,” Malema asserted to a roaring crowd.

An attack on Gordhan is not an attack on the inquiry, is not a defence of corruption,” continued Malema, addressing the criticism the EFF received for their two-day rally outside the Zondo Commission last week during Gordhan’s testimony.

According to Malema, the criticism laid on the EFF that they “flip-flop around Pravin” is unfounded as there is evidence of their previous statement when they made it clear that they supported Gordhan, who is the “better devil”, when he was being unfairly treated by Jacob Zuma.

Responding to comments that the EFF should present evidence at the State Capture inquiry, Malema said the commission had clear terms of reference as it relates to dealing with the Guptas, and so the “commission does not mean close the country on other corruption”.

Malema said the commission must continue unhindered, but this does not mean the EFF would stop criticising politicians.

According to Malema, EFF supporters who are disappointed by the leadership for going after Gordhan don’t know why they joined the EFF and must give their vote to the ANC.

Regarding his “inflammatory remarks”, Malema said some of it is just “political talk and political language” of which “once you take away this, politics will be boring”.

And calling a fellow politician a dog was not an attack and it is not uncommon for people to call each other with animal names.

In response to the charges, Gordhan in a statement challenged all the allegations levelled against him, stating that he does not have any bank accounts outside of South Africa.

Their so-called ‘charge sheet’ is baseless, containing a set of lies, fake news and fabrications. It is simply their latest attack on the continuing efforts to combat corruption and theft in State-owned Companies and other public institutions,” read the statement.

According to Gordhan the EFF is playing at “politics of distraction” with nefarious intent to hide something from the Zondo Commision.

The content of the charge sheet or indictment is false, defamatory and malicious and has been disseminated publicly with the specific objective of causing injury to the reputations and integrity of Minister Gordhan and his family,” read the statement. DM