Charge, coun­ter­charge

How will the po­lice and the NPA deal with the mat­ter and whose com­plaints will stand the test?

Financial Mail - - BETWEEN THE CHAINS - Genevieve Quintal quin­[email protected]­

EFF leader Julius Malema bran­dished the con­sti­tu­tion as he in­sisted in 2016 that Ja­cob Zuma re­sign as pres­i­dent in the wake of the Con­sti­tu­tional Court’s judg­ment on Nkandla. Now the erst­while de­fender of the con­sti­tu­tion is fac­ing charges of breach­ing the high­est law in the land.

Pub­lic en­ter­prises min­is­ter Pravin Gord­han has de­cided to fight back against a sus­tained EFF cam­paign to paint him and his fam­ily as cor­rupt.

He has laid com­plaints with the po­lice against Malema and his deputy, Floyd Shivambu, and has ap­proached the Equal­ity Court.

Protest­ing out­side the Zondo in­quiry into state cap­ture last week, Malema called Gord­han “a dog of white monopoly cap­i­tal”, say­ing: “We must hit the dog un­til the owner comes out.”

The EFF also al­leges that his daugh­ter is a di­rec­tor of sev­eral com­pa­nies that have ben­e­fited from gov­ern­ment con­tracts. Gord­han told the in­quiry that when his daugh­ter worked at In­vestec’s pri­vate eq­uity divi­sion, it was the bank, not his daugh­ter, that held the shares of these pri­vate busi­nesses.

The ANC, Gord­han’s po­lit­i­cal home, has been strangely mute in the face of the EFF’S at­tacks. But at the week­end Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa, who brought Gord­han back into the cab­i­net, said it was the task of South Africans to de­fend and sup­port Gord­han.

On Mon­day Gord­han laid com­plaints against Malema and Shivambu at Brook­lyn po­lice sta­tion in Pre­to­ria, say­ing their com­ments amounted to crimen in­juria, al­ter­na­tively crim­i­nal defama­tion. He also brought a com­plaint of in­cite­ment to com­mit vi­o­lence against the pair.

In his Equal­ity Court com­plaint, Gord­han asks that Malema and Shivambu pay him R150,000 in dam­ages (which he will do­nate to a wor­thy cause), apol­o­gise un­con­di­tion­ally and pay costs of the mat­ter.

On Tues­day the EFF laid com­plaints against Gord­han at the same po­lice sta­tion. It has been dredg­ing up al­le­ga­tions against Gord­han that were used by the Zuma fac­tion to fire him as fi­nance min­is­ter in 2017. It says it is lodg­ing com­plaints of money laun­der­ing, cor­rup­tion, rack­e­teer­ing, fraud, per­jury and con­tra­ven­tion of “the in­tel­li­gence act” and the Preven­tion & Com­bat­ing of Cor­rupt Ac­tiv­i­ties Act.

How will the po­lice and the Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Au­thor­ity deal with this mat­ter, and whose com­plaint will stand the test?

“Our task is to sup­port and de­fend peo­ple like Pravin Gord­han … be­cause they are seek­ing to rid our coun­try of the cul­ture of cor­rup­tion that has seeped into the sinews of the body politic.” Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa, re­spond­ing to EFF at­tacks on the min­is­ter of pub­lic en­ter­prises

Sun­day Times/alon Skuy

EFF lead­ers Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu: Laid com­plaints against Pravin Gord­han

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