Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has laid charges against EFF leader Julius Malema with the police and the Equality Court. File picture: Nhlanhla Phillips/African News Agency/ANA

Cape Town - Public Enterprise Minister Pravin Gordhan laid criminal charges crimen injuria and defamation against EFF leader Julius Malema at the Brooklyn Police Station in Hatfield, Pretoria on Monday morning.

Gordhan also lodged similar charges against EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu. The charges followed comments that two leaders made while protesting outside Zondon Commission probing state capture in Parktown.

Gordhan had also indicated his intention to file a case against the two at the Equality Court.

“The determined defence of corruption and the corrupt, using personal attacks, racism and alleged hate speech is not acceptable and must be challenged.

“I have not responded until now to the absolute nonsensical and unsubstantiated attacks, but extending these attacks to my family and threatening harmony amongst the people of South Africa was a step too far. Enough is enough,” Gordhan said.

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 utterances and public statements by Malema and Shivambu to constitute crimen injuria in that they have 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 in so far as it was stated by Malema on 20 November 2018, that “… there will be casualties. There can even be a loss of life [sic]. If you’re not ready for that stand aside…”

“In relation to the complaint to the Equality Court, Minister Gordhan regards various public utterances and statements by Mr Malema and Mr Shivambu to constitute contraventions of Section 10 of the Equality Act in that these were clearly intended to be hurtful, incite harm and promote hatred and thus constitute hate speech, as contemplated by the Act,” Gordhan said.

He is seeking an unconditional apology from Malema and Shivambu.

“Moreover, damages in the amount of R150 000 – 00 (one hundred and fifty thousand Rand) 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.

“It is time for all South Africans to take a firm stand against racism, lies and fake news and contribute to the building of a united, non-racial and non-sexist democratic South Africa. All of us as South Africans must continue to fight corruption in the private sector and in the State,” Gordhan said.

Political Bureau