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Julius Malema warns Ramaphosa on appointing Gordhan

EWN reports that EFF leader Julius Malema has warned president Cyril Ramaphosa that if he appoints outgoing Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan to his cabinet, then he will be a constitutional delinquent.

Malema stated, “We did with Thuli Madonsela against Jacob Zuma, we are doing it again! The EFF is going to defend this report against Pravin. It must be implemented.”

The issue with Gordhan centres around Ivan Pillay – in 2010 Gordhan approved Pillay’s early retirement with full benefits, and then subsequently supported rehiring the man.

According to the Mail and Guardian Public Protector advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane found that Pillay didn’t request early retirement and even if he had, it would have been none of Gordhan’s business.

Further, because there was no retirement under law –  the full pension benefits constituted irregular expenditure.

News24 reports that civic organisation Freedom Under Law has slammed the decision, stating that the issues raised in it were exactly the same ones that the NPA raised in 2016 in a bid to prosecute Gordhan, only to drop the charges a month later.

“This attempt to reheat a long cold dish and serve it up to the public as evidence of wrongdoing is on its own alarming. But that the Public Protector releases her report a mere two days after receiving responses from the implicated parties – failing to meaningfully engage the responses – makes a mockery of the most basic tenets of justice,” News24 quoted Freedom Under Law’s CEO Nicole Fritz as saying.

The EFF have a strange history with Mkhwebane – after supporting her rise to the office, according to the Mail and Guardian in 2017 Malema stated, “We just took a puppet from Gupta’s kitchen and said ‘let’s give her a chance’.”

He further went on to say at the time that his party was trying to figure out a way to get her thrown out of office.

However the EFF also have a long running feud with Gordhan, having laid charges against Gordhan in 2018.

These charges included alleging that Gordhan had a secret bank account at the Royal Bank of Canada.

According to News24, the account number they provided to the police, 585425-91, doesn’t match the format the bank uses. bank uses a five digit transit code, a seven digit account number, and a three digit branch code.

Further, these accounts are only open to Canadian citizens and those in the process of immigrating or studying there. Gordhan isn’t doing any of this.

Their charge sheet also spelled Gordhan’s name wrong.

TimesLIVE reported that while Gordhan was giving testimony before the commission into state capture in 2018, Malema was outside the venue calling Gordhan ‘corrupt’ and a ‘dog for white monopoly capital.’

Of course this wouldn’t be Malema if we didn’t turn back the clock and find him, in 2016, saying that Gordhan had done nothing wrong and the allegations against him were down to President Zuma wanting to take control of the treasury, according to Fin24.

My Take

Gordhan was part of Zuma’s cabinet, and that will always raise question marks around him because it makes one wonder what Zuma had on him.

That said, whatever it was hasn’t really come out yet – and Gordhan has generally not behaved in a manner consistent with someone afraid of blackmail, so I can’t really hold appointing Gordhan to anything against Ramaphosa.

And yes I know I’m ignoring the Public Protector’s report, but that’s because as Freedom Under Law said, these are the same charges that the NPA dropped against Gordhan years ago, and there doesn’t seem to be any new evidence here.

That said, I think this whole affair shows why forming alliances with the EFF is always going to be idiotic.

Malema is not honest hence why if you follow him for any length of time you will see stuff like promising open borders in one breath, and excluding foreigners from owning property in South Africa in the next.

The thing about lying is it requires a better memory than telling the truth, and so you get this constant inconsistency with liars. One second someone is good, another they’re the devil, and you never really know where anybody stands.

This extends beyond personalities – the schizophrenia that is inherent to Malema’s party created a manifesto which if adopted would have been a total crisis, because the only way it could be cohesive would be to assume the very worst out of it.

You never know what you’re dealing with when you’re dealing with a fascist, they don’t honour their agreements, and that is the only consistency you will find in them.

The best approach both the ANC and the DA have right now is to work together, because you cannot form an effective government with a party like the EFF, because your best buddy today will be your worst enemy depending on what makes the better headline.

  • Picture courtesy of GCIS via Flickr.
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