Johannesburg - Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has hit back at EFF leader Julius Malema’s taunts which included him being labelled a “dog of white monopoly capital”.
The EFF has said it plans on opening a handful of charges against Gordhan.
Malema made the comments on November 20, addressing party supporters outside the offices of Tiso Blackstar, where the hearings on state capture chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo are taking place.
Gordhan has said that Malema’s comments are hate speech, adding that he will not allow corruption to be masked by racism, personal attacks on him and his family and a political attack.
Gordhan gave the police details of all the public statements Malema and EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu made against him when he opened crimen injuria and criminal defamation charges against the pair at the Brooklyn Police Station in Pretoria on Monday. He also used the same evidence to lodge a defamation case at the Equality Court in Pretoria.
Malema made the comments regarding Gordhan while the latter was testifying about the capture of state-owned entities and blamed former president Jacob Zuma for allegedly exerting influence over the control of SOEs, including the appointment of certain people to hold senior positions at these entities.
Outside the hearings, Malema lodged a vicious attack on Gordhan, accusing him of allegedly having “destroyed Peter Mokaba, Winnie Mandela he has destroyed everyone else that stood for the truth against the apartheid regime”.
“Pravin has gone into all SOEs and removed all black excellence because he hates Africans, he doesn’t like Africans. Any African who speaks back to Pravin, Pravin threatens those people,” Malema had said.
He had also alleged that Gordhan’s daughter benefited from government business.
Shivambu may also find himself in trouble for a comment on his blog which he titled: “Pravin Gordhan runs a Cabal and operates a parallel State apparatus in South Africa”.
Shivambu in the same blog also accused Gordhan of hating “Africans” saying “The Cabal was basically an Indian Cabal that was put in place to slander the character and standing of African comrades in the MDM (Mass Democratic Movement), and it was led by Pravin Gordhan,” Shivambu said.
Gordhan said: “I have not responded until now to the absolute nonsensical and unsubstantiated attacks, but extending these attacks to my family and threatening harmony among the people of South Africa was a step too far. Enough is enough.”
He confirmed that his complaints related to multiple instances of public utterances and public statements that have impugned on his “dignity and good name”.
He said he regarded the public statements by Malema and Shivambu to constitute crimen injuria in that they unlawfully and intentionally violated his dignity and privacy, both in his person and as a public official.
“The SAPS is also being asked to consider whether the public statements constitute incitement to violence insofar as it was stated by Malema on November 20, that “there will be casualties. There can even be a loss of life (sic). If you’re not ready for that stand aside”, Gordhan said.
He is seeking an unconditional apology from Malema and Shivambu in the Equality Court. “Moreover, damages in the amount of R150000 should be ordered by the court jointly and severally against Messrs Malema and Shivambu. If successful, the damages claimed will be donated to a charitable organisation that supports job creation for unemployed youth.”
The EFF has vowed to open a criminal case against Gordhan on Tuesday at the Brooklyn police station. The party said it would charge him with money laundering, corruption, racketeering, fraud, contravention of the Intelligence Act and the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, and perjury.
On Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa voiced support for Gordhan. He said those attacking Gordhan were “deeply embedded in what was going wrong in our country”.