Malema’s DA ul­ti­ma­tum

EFF leader wants Zille fired or his party will quit coali­tion

The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE - LUYOLO MKENTANE AND TEBOGO MONAMA @luy­olomken­tane

THE FU­TURE of the DA­gov­erned met­ros in Gaut­eng could be hang­ing in the bal­ance af­ter EFF leader Julius Malema threat­ened to pull out of the coali­tion if He­len Zille is not re­moved as premier of the Western Cape.

The ul­ti­ma­tum comes af­ter the for­mer DA leader was sus­pended on Wed­nes­day from all party ac­tiv­i­ties by the party’s high­est de­ci­sion-mak­ing body – its fed­eral ex­ec­u­tive (fedex).

Zille is ac­cused of dam­ag­ing the DA’s im­age and for bring­ing the party into dis­re­pute over her tweets prais­ing cer­tain as­pects of colo­nial­ism.

She is due to ap­pear be­fore the DA’s in­de­pen­dent dis­ci­plinary body, its fed­eral le­gal com­mis­sion (FLC), chaired by ad­vo­cate Glyn­nis Breyten­bach.

Yes­ter­day, Malema is­sued an ul­ti­ma­tum to the of­fi­cial op­po­si­tion to re­move Zille as premier or risk los­ing the met­ros of Tsh­wane and Joburg, which the DA runs in a coali­tion with the EFF.

“They must be warned. You will re­main with the Western Cape… with Jo­han­nes­burg and Tsh­wane gone. We don’t want to as­so­ciate with a party that pro­tects colo­nial­ism and apartheid.

“We are (al­most there with re­gard) to with­draw­ing our votes in those mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties if you don’t sus­pend He­len Zille as premier. We are not go­ing to al­low that non­sense to con­tinue,” said Malema at a me­dia brief­ing in Joburg.

The fire­brand leader warned that the DA might not be able to un­seat the ANC in the 2019 na­tional elec­tions if it con­tin­ued on its cur­rent tra­jec­tory. Malema char­ac­terised Zille as the “Zuma of the DA”, say­ing: “If He­len Zille be­lieved she was treated un­fairly, she must re­sign and take the DA to court to clear her name.

“But to al­low her party to de­te­ri­o­rate this much, then she is no dif­fer­ent from Zuma. She is com­pro­mis­ing the 2019 project of re­mov­ing the ANC.”

Malema sug­gested that the DA was pulling the wool over peo­ple’s eyes by sus­pend­ing Zille from party ac­tiv­i­ties and not from her po­si­tion as the Western Cape premier.

“How is Zille go­ing to get a man­date if she is not at­tend­ing DA meet­ings? She is sup­posed to at­tend a cau­cus (meet­ing).

“Who is Zille rep­re­sent­ing in the Western Cape Leg­is­la­ture?”

Malema re­it­er­ated that DA leader Mmusi Maimane’s author­ity was be­ing “un­der­mined” in his party.

Con­tacted for com­ment, Maimane said the DA was “a party of due process”. “The party’s fed­eral ex­ec­u­tive de­cided to sus­pend Ms Zille pend­ing the out­come of her dis­ci­plinary hear­ing, which starts on June 9. We will await that out­come be­fore a de­ci­sion on any fur­ther ac­tion is taken.”

He said if the EFF was happy to “fold their arms” and ab­stain from vot­ing, “then the peo­ple of South Africa must know that it was the EFF who handed power back to the cor­rupt Gupta-con­trolled ANC.

“Mr Malema him­self has said things in pub­lic that I do not agree with and that threaten the project of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion in South Africa.

“Nev­er­the­less, we are work­ing to­gether in the in­ter­ests of South Africa,” Maimane said.

For­mer DA leader Tony Leon called on Zille to quit, say­ing he re­garded the events around her as “deeply trou­bling both for her and the party, un­less this mat­ter is shut down sooner, not later”.

“What­ever the de­mer­its of the orig­i­nal tweets and the le­gal is­sues Ms Zille has raised, this mat­ter and its con­tin­u­ance is a mas­sive dis­trac­tion from the core busi­ness of the DA.

“I re­ally hope He­len will re­flect in­tensely on the enor­mity of her pre­vi­ous con­tri­bu­tion to the party, and South Africa and not let her legacy or her party be de­fined by this mat­ter. Some­times in pol­i­tics, as in life, you must quit while you are ahead,” Leon said, speak­ing to The Star from Lon­don.

Univer­sity of the Free State po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Dr Joleen Steyn-Kotze said the DA needed to deal with the Zille mat­ter de­ci­sively, es­pe­cially in the build-up to the 2019 elec­tions.

“Only time will tell if there’s a de­cline in the DA or whether this is­sue might have been at play. The big­gest is­sue now in the Zille sus­pen­sion is that the party must start los­ing the la­bel that it’s the party that per­pet­u­ates white in­ter­ests,” she said.

Steyn-Kotze said the DA needed to deal with the mat­ter soon rather than drag it out like the ANC, which was at its most vul­ner­a­ble point.

Zille’s sup­port­ers in the Fedex, how­ever, said they were hope­ful she would get a fair hear­ing to­day.

Jac­ques Small, the DA’s leader in Lim­popo, a prov­ince known to be a Zille strong­hold, said: “We are hope­ful that the FLC will have a good out­come that will be fair. But if we are not happy with cer­tain as­pects of the out­come, it can be sent back (to the FLC),” he said.

The DA’s Western Cape act­ing leader, Bonginkosi Madik­izela, who is viewed as a staunch Zille sup­porter, said he would be “naive” if he said the Zille mat­ter would not have an im­pact on the party.

Re­peated at­tempts to get com­ment from Zille were un­suc­cess­ful.

DA is a party of due process, we await dis­ci­plinary hear­ing out­come

FI­NANCE Min­is­ter Malusi Gi­gaba could be pros­e­cuted for his al­leged in­volve­ment in ten­der ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties at Transnet – if Julius Malema has his way.

The EFF leader said yester- day he would lay charges of cor­rup­tion against Gi­gaba for al­legedly in­flu­enc­ing ten­der pro­cesses at the paras­tatal when he served as pub­lic en­ter­prise min­is­ter.

Transnet board mem­bers would also be dragged be­fore the courts, ac­cord­ing to Malema, who said a whis­tle-blower in the paras­tatal had leaked in­for­ma­tion to the party show­ing cor­rup­tion in the pro­cure­ment of lo­co­mo­tives.

Com­pa­nies from Canada and China bid for the lo­co­mo­tives in 2012 and, ac­cord­ing to Malema, in 2014 Tril­lian and Reg­i­ments Cap­i­tal ad­vised Transnet to urge bid­ders to in­crease their bids.

Once Tril­lian and Reg­i­ments – ap­par­ently af­fil­i­ated to the Gup­tas – started ad­vis­ing Transnet, the bids went up from R30 mil­lion to more than R40m for a sin­gle lo­co­mo­tive, ac­cord­ing to Malema. Transnet procured 1 064 lo­co­mo­tives.

Reg­i­ments has re­jected ac­cu­sa­tions it was in­volved in any ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in the pro­cure­ment process.

In ad­di­tion to open­ing cases against Gi­gaba, Malema plans to write let­ters to the three coun­tries, as well as ap­proach the courts to in­ter­dict the ten­der.

“We are go­ing to en­sure that we write to the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment about cor­rup­tion. They must in­ves­ti­gate these com­pa­nies im­pli­cated in cor­rup­tion.

“The Chi­nese deal with cor­rupt peo­ple de­ci­sively. Why do they al­low their peo­ple to come and cor­rupt African states?” Malema asked.

Gi­gaba dared Malema to take him to court.

“Go­ing to court is the best thing he can do. It will be the best way to put this thing to rest,” said Gi­gaba’s spokesper­son May­ihlome Tsh­wete.

“This is a never-end­ing po­lit­i­cal cam­paign against some­one he doesn’t like. More of this is ex­pected be­cause this is the year of the ANC elec­toral con­fer­ence.”

Transnet spokesper­son Sean Badal said: “We are con­fi­dent that our pro­cure­ment pro­cesses have suf­fi­cient checks and bal­ances to guar­an­tee in­tegrity. These in­clude over­sight at var­i­ous gov­er­nance lev­els.”

Badal said Transnet set up a spe­cial com­mit­tee made up of in­de­pen­dent di­rec­tors to re­view its pro­cesses, with a spe­cific fo­cus on the lo­co­mo­tive ac­qui­si­tion pro­gramme. The re­sults of the re­view will be an­nounced once com­pleted, he said.

Malema said the party was putting to­gether a dossier based on the leaked Gupta e-mails that would be taken to Par­lia­ment in an ef­fort to im­peach Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma and cab­i­net min­is­ters im­pli­cated in cor­rup­tion. If that fails, the EFF would ap­proach the courts.

“We are in pos­ses­sion of the e-mails. We are now link­ing ev­ery e-mail to the min­is­ters,” Malema said, lament­ing the fact that since the e-mails were leaked, no one had yet been charged.

“Why are the Gup­tas not charged? I was charged for in­flu­enc­ing ten­ders with­out any ev­i­dence. Now there is clear ev­i­dence by min­is­ters. Why is there no sin­gle per­son charged in the Nkandla is­sue till to­day?”

Malema said Zuma was us­ing de­lay­ing tac­tics by ap­proach­ing the courts to re­view for­mer Pub­lic Pro­tec­tor Thuli Madon­sela’s State Cap­ture re­port, which rec­om­mended Judge Pres­i­dent Mo­go­eng Mo­go­eng choose a judge to lead a com­mis­sion of in­quiry in­stead of Zuma.

Malema also com­plained about South Africans not be­ing proac­tive and tak­ing to the streets in protest over the e-mail rev­e­la­tions.

“If this was an­other coun­try and not South Africa – where peo­ple like protest­ing on so­cial me­dia – the streets would be full,” he added.

ON WAR PATH: Julius Malema

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