Justice Raymond Zondo at the start of The Zondo Commission into state capture. Civil rights bodies want Judge Zondo to subpoena political party members who made threats against the commission.
Durban - Civil rights organisations want Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to subpoena members of political parties who made threats and allegations against the state capture commission and witnesses.

The call came after leaders of the EFF lashed out against the commission, with Julius Malema describing the commission as a Mickey Mouse show.

Malema told supporters Justice Zondo was presiding over a commission that was stealing money from the poor.

Spokesperson for Active Citizen Movement, Yashica Padia said civil rights organisations under the banner of Future South Africa have come together to challenge Malema and others.

“There’re over 100 organisations under Future South Africa and we have met to discuss the matter. In the next week or so we will make an application to the commission,” she said.

“We want those criticising the commission to present evidence on allegations they have been making about the witnesses and the commission.

“Making threats and allegations on social media and outside the hearing venue will not assist the commission with its work.”

Padia said the political discourse being dominated by the EFF, BLF and others was steeped in racist and hate speech which must be challenged by every sector of society.

Padia said there was a need to protect witnesses who testify at the commission. 

“Our worry is that potential witnesses will fear attacks by political parties, they may have second thoughts about going to the commission to testify. This could render the work of the commission meaningless, and help the culprits involved in state capture to walk free without being investigated or called to account,” she said.

Speaking on behalf of Future South Africa, Neeshan Bolton said confirmed the proposed plan but said it was still on the cards. 

“It’s under consideration by members of Future SA. Part of our discussion is to closely monitor the kind of candidate put up for the upcoming elections. We want to ensure those who have been implicated in state capture and corruption don’t get featured and we would also provide moral support to the journalists under attack as we are currently engage with Sanef (SA National Editors’ Forum),” said Bolton.

During his outburst Malema accused journalists of protecting Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and likened the media to the apartheid government’s “Stratcom” disinformation campaign.

Sanef also came out strongly against EFF and said a series of steps will be “urgently undertaken to stop unacceptable, inflammatory remarks by Malema and other EFF leaders”.

* Read more on the #StateCaptureInquiry here .

Sunday Tribune