Gordhan lays criminal charges against Malema

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan says “Enough is enough.”

Gordhan has lodged two complaints against Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu with the South African Police Service (SAPS), as well as at the Equality Court.

Speaking to media outside the Brooklyn Police Station after opening the case, the minister said: “I think what we’re saying to South Africans is that we can’t any longer allow the corruption that’s going at all levels in this country to be masked by racism, by personal attacks, by family attacks and of course political attacks as well. So we have decided enough is enough.

“If you want to argue with us politically that’s fine but once you lie and you attack families, and you propagate these lies widely enough, but you also start dividing South African society then it is totally unacceptable. Because race is a very inflammable factor in South Africa.”

The charges include crimen iniuria and criminal defamation. According to a statement released by Gordhan’s spokesperson Adrian Lackay, the police have been asked “to consider whether the public statements constitute incitement to violence”. He was referring to statements made by Malema on November 20. 

Last week, Malema launched a scathing attack on Gordhan outside the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture where Gordhan was testifying.

At the time, he called Gordhan “corrupt”, “a dog of white monopoly capital” and claimed Gordhan hated black people.

When contacted for comment by News 24 about the charges laid against him, Malema refused to reply, saying only, “Yah, get your reaction from your racist editor Adriaan Basson.”

Malema has made claims over contracts involving Gordhan’s daughter, Anisha, saying they were allegedly awarded by National Treasury and other government departments, seemingly as a result of her father’s position in government.

Gordhan has strongly denied that his daughter did business with the State.

On Sunday, Malema continued his attack on the minister, saying he was guilty of double standards when it came to public scrutiny of his daughter.

READ MORE: EFF seizes on divisions in the ANC

“When it’s an Indian daughter, it’s fine: Case closed. No need for a bank statement,” Malema told those gathered at the Economic Freedom Fighters’ Manifesto Consultation Assembly in Pretoria.

Yet, he said when black African politicians had family members allegedly involved in work for the government, a different standard was applied.

“If Pravin says: ‘Don’t involve my daughter’, [this is respected]… If I say don’t involve my cousin or mother, [he is told]: ‘No, you can’t say that, you are a public representative’.” — News 24

This article has been amended to reflect updates.

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Alex Mitchley
Alex Mitchley
South African Journalist at News24
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