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Why does Malema want Gordhan fired, and what is he scared of?


Omry Makgoale is a rank and file member of the ANC. These are his personal views.

The EFF cannot be trusted. When you give them milk, they want to take the cow. In fact, they want the whole kraal.

Economic Freedom Fighters’ president Julius Malema – known as commander-in-chief – has ordered President Cyril Ramaphosa to fire Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan from his Cabinet, or the EFF will disrupt the president’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).

It’s similar to how they disrupted former president Jacob Zuma’s SONA addresses. Malema, the man who had vowed to “kill for Zuma”, during his happy days as ANC Youth League president, has now switched targets completely. He fought former president Thabo Mbeki tooth and nail to install Zuma as ANC president. After crossing swords with Zuma, he was expelled from the ANC and with his close confidante, Floyd Shivambu, formed the EFF.

Malema and the EFF launched a series of tirades against Zuma and by the time Zuma had lost support among ANC members, and the South African population, Malema continued to use every opportunity to attack Zuma, which was appreciated by voters at the time.

Now, Malema and the EFF have their eyes on removing Gordhan from the Cabinet. Malema and the EFF brigade want to run the government without being elected by the voters. They want to control and run the ANC from outside by internally linking up with their allies – as a new State Capture brigade to manipulate, to choose and to fire ministers they do not like. 

Can the ANC afford this direct interference by another political party in its affairs? 

Can Ramaphosa afford to be ordered by Malema to fire and appoint ministers to his Cabinet? 

The stakes could not be higher.

Should the president fire Gordhan because of threats from Malema? The answer is a big and resounding “no”.

Dismissal and appointments of ministers is a prerogative of the president of South Africa, the president of the party that won the general elections.

But why do they hate Gordhan now, when during the Zuma period, they appeared to like him? Could this be because of the files from his SARS years as commissioner, when Malema was still in charge of the Ratanang Trust and together with his comrade, Cassel Mathale, they bankrupted the Limpopo provincial government? Or is it because of the files from when Gordhan was still minister of finance?

Gordhan is one of the most competent and trustworthy ministers, alongside Ronald Lamola and Barbara Creecy. He has stood the test of time, from the Operation Vula days when he was an underground uMkhonto weSizwe cadre in KwaZulu-Natal, through the gruelling State Capture period under Zuma. He is courageous enough to withstand the spewing of venom directed at him. 

Allowing Malema to choose ministers through unlawful methods should not be tolerated.

If Gordhan is removed, the EFF will demand the removal of the president. They cannot be trusted. When you give them milk, they want to take the cow. In fact, they want the whole kraal.

Ramaphosa and the ANC must not succumb to these spurious demands.

It would set a bad precedent by allowing the third-largest party to dictate who should be ministers, without winning the elections. DM


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