Johannesburg - Patriotic Alliance (PA) leader Gayton McKenzie has hit back at EFF leader Julius Malema after the latter called him a bandit this week.
The debate raged after a Kannaland mayor in the Western Cape, who is a convicted child rapist, was elected into the position this week.
Speaking to IOL News on Thursday, McKenzie said Malema was calling them bandits because he was sad and jealous of their success as the PA.
“I can understand when a white man says that, but I can’t understand when it comes from a black man because, the past we are coming from, there are so many prisoners in jail that look for political leadership to change things, and if a political leader says he does not believe in second chances (that) is truly regrettable and sad. What is most sad is that political leaders during elections send people to get votes,” McKenzie said.
He reminded the EFF leader that he, Malema, was currently facing a number of cases in court.
“Malema is currently in front of court on criminal charges for illegally discharging a firearm in public. I think he is facing other charges. That is very rich coming from him while facing such charges,” McKenzie said.
He said Malema knows that he knows that he was poor, hence he thinks he can insult everyone.
“Politics for Malema is a job, for me it’s not. I don’t make money from politics. He lives for politics, who will hire Malema in a company. For him, this is his daily bread. It’s survival for them, not for me.
“I have changed so many people’s lives. The PA believes in rehabilitation and second chances. Someone was telling me that when the PA did well people were celebrating in prisons because in me they see future-selves and hope for a better life,” McKenzie said.
He said he hoped that Malema or anyone close to him did not make a mistake that would require a second chance.
Malema said he would not be able to work with McKenzie because of his criminal past.
“I am highly conflicted. I don’t know how I can work with the PA. Imagine waking up and working with bandits, saying that you and the bandits can change people’s lives, bandits, and then we must be having political parties for bandits in South Africa,” Malema said.
PA deputy leader Kenny Kunene, in a recent broadcast channel interview, said Malema must tell him in his face that he is a bandit.
“Personally, in politics we have stood back, but now it’s over it ends right now. I am going to deal with him. Whenever I meet him, he must tell me that I am a bandit in my face,” Kunene said.
Western Cape’s Kannaland Municipality mayor Jeffrey Donson, who is a convicted child rapist, and his deputy, Werner Meshoa, a convicted fraudster, also came into the spotlight, with some people raising concern whether their children and loved ones would be safe under the leadership of convicts,
Legal expert Nthabiseng Dubazana said one could work in a government institution with a criminal record.
“The only time that you would not be appointed to work in a government institution with a criminal record is when it is relevant to the position that you hold. For example in 2009, there were about 74% of public servants with criminal records who were still working in government.
“The only thing for the mayor is that the court would have to put an order that he be placed on the sexual offenders’ list so people should know. You are not going to be ousted or not get a job for having a criminal record. It is unfortunate but that is the position,” said Dubazana.
Political analyst Professor Dirk Kotze said it was undesirable for persons with criminal records to be in leading positions in any government.
“The formal requirement for membership of local councils or members of Parliament, they will be disqualified if they have been imprisoned for five years without the option of a fine. And once they have served the term, then there must be another five-year period afterwards before they can qualify to be elected as member of Parliament or local or provincial government.
“When they were nominated before this election, the parties had to provide a statement in which they do say that they are not disqualified because of this,” said Kotze.
He added that those people shouldn’t be in those positions especially for the fact that South Africa has problems such as corruption, GBV and other crimes.
“Parties, for their own sake, should look at persons who are not being implicated by these matters. They must be seen with integrity and as ethical persons and not have a cloud hanging over them,” Kotze said.