Johannesburg - The EFF is set to intensify its campaign against Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan as he takes the stand to testify at the Zondo commission into state capture.
The red berets were planning a protest outside the commission’s venue in Parktown, Johannesburg, on Sunday, accusing Gordhan of lying under oath over his meetings with the Guptas, and of having been one of those who enabled state capture.
On Sunday, EFF leader Julius Malema claimed that the Guptas were central to Gordhan’s appointment as finance minister by Zuma in 2009.
Malema said Gordhan had refused to respond to a number of written questions from the party regarding the role of the controversial family in his appointment.
“We have asked Pravin questions. One of the questions is how did he become the minister of finance, and if he is aware of the meeting which took place with president Zuma where certain people asked Zuma to make him minister of finance. The Guptas were able to do what they did because of Zuma, assisted by Pravin,” Malema said.
Malema said the party would also report Gordhan to Parliament’s ethics committee over failing to answer when asked by the EFF in 2016 if any of the executives in the Treasury ever met with the Guptas, which he denies.
In his affidavit to the commission, Gordhan indicated that the Treasury’s director-general, Dondo Mogajane - then his chief of staff - did accompany him to a meeting with an Indian businessman where one of the Gupta brothers was present.
Gordhan said at the time - when he was answering in Parliament - he had no recollection of the presence of Ajay Gupta at the meeting.
The EFF has, however, rejected his explanation, and instead lodged a complaint with the Public Protector.
The party has focused on Gordhan recently, accusing him of being manipulative and of purging people he did not agree with in state-owned enterprises.
Meanwhile, Malema hailed former Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille for establishing her own political party after resigning from the DA following a protracted battle to oust her.
“She has got a friend in the EFF. We are together. Let’s go and do the right thing. Let’s fight for our people. Let us defeat the demon of racism, which is what removed her from the DA,” Malema said.
Gordhan’s spokesperson Adrian Lackay could not be reached for comment by the time of publication.