Malema submits affidavit in defence of Mkhwebane in ‘rogue-unit’ bout

 

 

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has come out to bat for Public Protector advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, in a court application to intervene in Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan’s application to set aside Mkhwebane’s report on the so-called rogue unit.

The EFF has accused Gordhan of employing an “illegitimate shortcut” through the “constitutionally protected tenure of the Public Protector”. This is after the minister lodged papers to interdict the implementation of Mkhwebane’s report and to review the report itself and set it aside.

READ MORE: Ramaphosa enters the fray in fight between Gordhan and Mkhwebane

Malema describes Gordhan’s review application as an “unprecedented attack on the incumbent public protector”. He argues in his application that the minister’s criticism was designed to “poison the climate in which the legal debate ought to take place”, or laying the foundation for her removal.

He goes to considerable lengths to explain why Mkhwebane’s finding that Gordhan misled Parliament regarding the meeting with the Gupta’s was deliberate and indicates that the finding on the “rogue unit” is a separate matter.

Malema says the unit did not have a “run of the mill” investigative function and it was of no use to point at “generic grants of authority in the tax laws”, rather it was an “extraordinary power and departure from the norm”.


“Remember, we’re talking about spying. If Parliament intended SARS to have such extraordinary powers, it would have said so… intelligence is not the same as revenue collection, intelligence is serious business,” he said. Malema argues that if intelligence had to be gathered, the task should have been assigned to national intelligence authorities.

Malema dismisses Gordhan’s argument that Mkhwebane is biased and has an ulterior motive, saying this allegation should only be made on the “clearest of evidence”, given its far-reaching consequences “especially in this context”. He says the allegation that Mkhwebane is pursuing Gordhan at the EFF’s behest is “speculative and spurious”. Turning to Gordhan’s comments in his papers on the EFF, Malema says the minister “all but invites” the court to make negative findings against the party.

Gordhan in his review application said the EFF had driven the campaign against him, repackaging allegations against him for its complaint to the public protector and that there was a political motive to its complaint.

“No awareness of the infirmity of or motive for the allegations against me by the EFF is shown by the Public Protector. Rather, she is unquestioning in her acceptance of them. This is a result of incompetence, bias or both,” he said. 

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Natasha Marrian
Natasha Marrian
Marrian has built a reputation as an astute political journalist, investigative reporter and commentator. Until recently she led the political team at Business Day where she also produced a widely read column that provided insight into the political spectacle of the week.

Related stories

Does the Expropriation Bill muddy the land question even further?

Land ownership and its equitable distribution has floundered. Changes to a section of the constitution and the expropriation act are now before parliament, but do they offer any solution?

EFF eyes municipalities ahead of 2021 local government elections

EFF leader Julius Malema says the party is preparing to govern in many municipalities from next year. It is also launching a programme to defend the rights of farm workers

Distraction, intimidation and future alliances define events at Senekal

The lack of compassion towards Brendin Horner’s family is the failure of identity politics

Eusebius McKaiser: Reject the dichotomy of political horrors

Senekal shows us that we must make a stand against the loud voice of the populist EFF and racist rightwingers

‘We want to occupy the land,’ says EFF’s Malema at Senekal farm murder protest

The party and AfriForum staged protests outside the magistrate’s court during the bail application by two men accused of killing a farm manager in the eastern Free State

EFF assault case postponed

The case of assault against EFF leader Julius Malema and member of Parliament Mbuyiseni Ndlozi has been postponed because the court in Randburg did not allow the media to broadcast the case
Advertising

Subscribers only

Toxic power struggle hits public works

With infighting and allegations of corruption and poor planning, the department’s top management looks like a scene from ‘Survivor’

Free State branches gun for Ace

Parts of the provincial ANC will target their former premier, Magashule, and the Free State PEC in a rolling mass action campaign

More top stories

Air pollution link in 15% of global Covid-19 deaths

Researchers have found that, because ambient fine particulate air pollution aggravates comorbidities, it could play a factor in coronavirus fatalities

Mboweni plans to freeze public sector wage increases for the...

The mid-term budget policy statement delivered by the finance minister proposes cutting all non-interest spending by R300-billion.

SAA to receive R10.5-billion government bailout after all

Several struggling state-owned entities received extra funds after the medium term budget policy speech

BMW X3 thrives in the M stable

The compact SUV is so at home with its new badge that’s it’s surprising it didn’t happen sooner
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday