JUDICIARY & POLITICS
Julius Malema berates Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, demands disciplinary action
The leader of the EFF, Julius Malema, has said it was inappropriate for Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to get involved in political matters, adding that the judge’s comments about the ANC were an endorsement of party leader Cyril Ramaphosa.
EFF leader Julius Malema has lambasted Chief Justice Raymond Zondo and called for the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to “discipline” him for getting involved in political matters.
Speaking at a media briefing at the party’s headquarters on Monday following the party’s 15th central command meeting, Malema said it was justified for senior ANC member Tony Yengeni to have written a complaint to the JSC, appealing for Zondo to be probed for an alleged breach of the Code of Judicial Conduct in connection with comments made in the fourth part of the Zondo Commission report.
Malema believes Zondo is a factional judge who supports the election of ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa for a second term as party leader.
“We support Tony Yengeni fully… the conduct committee of the JSC must make sure that Zondo is disciplined; the same thing they did with the chief justice when he descended into the terrain of politics — Mogoeng Mogoeng. It will not be for the first time.
“He [Zondo] has no limits and thinks that judges are untouchable and that he has given himself the responsibility to enter the political terrain. What will judges have to do or say with regards to the outcomes of the political conferences of political parties? Judges must know their limits.
“Zondo sees it necessary to say that Ramaphosa’s election in the ANC rescued us from where we were. He effectively said if you do not elect Ramaphosa this December, we are going to be in trouble,” Malema said.
In the fourth report of Zondo’s Judicial Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, which was released last month, Zondo implied that more damage would have been done to SA if Ramaphosa had not been elected to lead the party at its elective conference in December 2017.
“Had it not been for the fact that at the end of 2017, the ANC would have an elective conference where Mr Ramaphosa, who was already Deputy President of the ANC and the country, would stand as a candidate to take over from Mr Zuma, more damage could have been done to the National Treasury under Mr (Malusi) Gigaba than may have been done,” the report reads.
Yengeni is of the belief that Zondo’s report will assist Ramaphosa’s campaign ahead of the party’s elective conference in December. He said the conclusion by the chief justice is “troubling in many respects”.
“First and foremost, I am not aware which witness(es) presented the testimony based on which this political finding is made. Even if such testimony was presented, such a finding is unjustified if such testimony was never tested by way of cross-examination.
“It is therefore inappropriate for a judicial officer to make such a subjective finding without real evidence,” according to Yengeni’s complaint.
Yengeni is a staunch supporter of suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and former party president Jacob Zuma. Last year, he, along with uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association member Carl Niehaus and Magashule were said to have displayed inappropriate behaviour at one of Zuma’s court appearances.
The party considered taking disciplinary action against the duo for saying that some ANC leaders were using state resources to lay criminal charges against their political opponents. This was shortly after Magshule was suspended for his alleged involvement in the botched multi-million Rand asbestos project. Magashule faces corruption charges.
Meanwhile, Malema condemned the privatisation of South African Airways (SAA) and labelled it a “dangerous” and “evidently unsustainable path”. The red berets intend doing everything in their power to reverse the sale of SAA, but Malema did not explain exactly how they would go about this.
“It is evident that all state-owned companies will first be made to not function well, and thereafter given for free to the white capitalist establishment. There is absolutely no rationality in selling off an airline for R51 to people who are linked to and controlled by the white capitalist establishment,” he said.
The Takatso Consortium was expected to invest R3-billion in the airline as operating capital once it acquired a 51% stake in the national carrier. However, National Treasury withdrew support for the sale of SAA.
Appearing recently before Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said the sale of the majority stake in SAA to Takatso Consortium had not yet been finalised.
“The current load shedding and crises in Eskom are purposefully created to justify the subsequent disposal of Eskom to the greedy white capitalist class. South Africa’s energy policy and direction are being directed by both domestic and global capitalist interests.
“What is evident now is that there is no believable plan for a just transition that will secure the work and wellbeing of communities and workers that depend on coal for their livelihoods,” claimed Malema. DM