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Maine in trouble for 'calling Gordhan impimpi'

Politics
Durban - ANC Youth League president Collen Maine might be in trouble with the law as two civil rights organisations have lodged a complaint with the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) against him for calling Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan an impimpi (spy) for monopoly capital.

Maine made the “life-threatening” statement when he was addressing hundreds of ANCYL members at the league’s KwaZulu-Natal conference in Durban on February 24.

“Who is this person (Gordhan) representing? Is he the minister from the ANC or is he representing something else?

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ANC Youth League president Collen Maine Picture: Nhlanhla Phillips/Independent Media

“You know previously we use to call people izimpimpi, and now we want to sugar coat it. Certain things were done to izimpimpi in the past, before 1994. Something must be done to this comrade,” said Maine.

The Active Citizens’ Movement (ACM) and Johannesburg Against Injustice (JAI) had not taken kindly to what they described as Maine’s threatening utterances against Gordhan.

ACM interim committee member Professor Yousuf Vawda said the two organisations had lodged the complaint with the SAHRC against Maine.

Vawda said during apartheid a person who was referred to as impimpi was “a very hated person and a person who was a spy and betraying the struggle”. “We believe that the utterances that were made by Maine constituted hate speech, constituted violence and therefore they should be investigated,” said Vawda.

JAI spokesman Dr Riedwaan Pillay said JAI and ACM had to intervene because they believed in “the protection of citizens and (the) advancement of the constitution”.

Pillay said although Maine and Gordhan are both ANC members “this is certainly not an internal ANC matter”. When contacted to respond to the allegations against him Maine said he was waiting for the SAHRC to contact him. Maine denied that he had referred to Gordhan as impimpi.

“I was addressing something of impimpis and later I mentioned his name,” said Maine.

A spokesperson for the SAHRC did not respond to questions that were emailed about the complaint against Maine.

The Mercury

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