EFF party leader Julius Malema.
EFF leader Julius Malema’s attack on Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan as “the real president of the country” is a bid to sow divisions within the ANC, according to one alliance partner.

The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) came to Gordhan’s defence after Malema accused him of having influenced President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to set up the Sars commission. The commission headed by retired Judge Robert Nugent will investigate the collapse of tax administration and governance at the tax revenue collector.

Malema also said that Gordhan was instrumental in the disciplinary charges against suspended Sars commissioner Tom Moyane.

Earlier this week, Moyane - through his lawyers - gave Ramaphosa an ultimatum to halt proceedings at the commission or face a legal challenge against him. Moyane made a similar application before Judge Nugent on June 29 but that application was dismissed. Moyane also plans to halt disciplinary proceedings against him set for July 21.

Yesterday Gordhan was silent on the allegations against him. But Sanco had none of it. Sanco’s spokesperson, Jabu Mahlangu, said: “Malema is a master wedge driver who has adopted a systematic strategy to isolate and discredit those that he views as threats to his ambitions. President Cyril Ramaphosa, key ministers within his cabinet, individual leaders within the ruling party, independent media houses and journalists are among those he has an axe to grind with ahead of the national elections.”

Mahlangu said Malema was aware that economic recovery hinged on the work that Gordhan was doing in “repositioning state-owned enterprises for growth and job creation”.

“The so-called Indian cabal that Gordhan allegedly belongs to is a figment of Malema’s imagination and yet another attempt by him as well as the EFF to polarise racial relations with Nazi-style racial ideology.

“Tom Moyane and others that he appears to be momentarily supporting are simply dispens- able pawns that he will discard as soon as he has derived sufficient political mileage from their plight,” Mahlangu said.