Johannesburg - The EFF has urged South Africans to prepare themselves for a new president after Public Protector Busi Mkhwebane announces her findings into allegations of money laundering against President Cyril Ramaphosa.
EFF leader Julius Malema made the remarks on Tuesday while briefing the media about the preparation for his party’s national elective conference in Nasrec in December.
Malema was adamant that Mkhwebane’s final report would severely affect Ramaphosa’s job as president, saying people should prepare themselves for the presidency of David Mabuza - the deputy president.
The investigations against Ramaphosa followed a complaint laid by DA leader Mmusi Maimane last year after reports the president received a donation of R500000 from Bosasa for his ANC presidential campaign in December 2017.
“The president is in trouble,” said Malema.
Malema’s comments came as a Cosatu-affiliated union - the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) - broke ranks with its mother body which had asked Ramaphosa in May to ignore Mkhwebane’s remedial action until the courts had pronounced on them.
On Tuesday, however, NUM secretary-general David Sipunzi came out in defence of Mkhwebane’s office, saying: “These are the institutions that are meant to strengthen our democracy. Attacking them the way the public protector has been attacked in the recent past may just be an indication that we are not honest about being democrats. It also gives the impression that we are not equal before the law.”
Sipunzi’s comments also came while SACP first deputy secretary Solly Mapaila is involved in a legal spat with Mkhwebane over his comments that she was a “hired gun”. Mkhwebane has given Mapaila until Friday to retract his comments and formally apologise to her.
SACP spokesperson Alex Mashilo did not want to comment on Sipunzi’s remarks, but said that his party had made a call for an inquiry into Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office, saying their call was provided for in the Constitution.
Meanwhile, the EFF is threatening to approach the Constitutional Court to force Ramaphosa to discipline Public Enterprise Minister Pravin Gordhan.
Ramaphosa had already indicated he would wait for the outcome of Gordhan’s review application of Mkhwebane’s remedial action in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.
Ramaphosa’s response had irked Malema, who said his party was obtaining legal opinion with a view to approaching the ConCourt for an order forcing Ramaphosa to comply with Mkhwebane’s “binding remedial action”.
“President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision not to act on the remedial action of the public protector in relation to Pravin Gordhan is a direct assault on a chapter nine institution, and the Constitution itself,” Malema said.
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