South Africa: 'No One Is Going to Intimidate Us' - EFF Hits Back At Clergy and Ahmed Kathrada Foundation

Julius Malema (file photo)
22 November 2018

The EFF has lashed out at the South African Council of Churches (SACC) and Ahmed Kathrada Foundation for their reactions to comments by its leader, Julius Malema, about Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.

"No one is going to intimidate us into submission from holding Gordhan accountable. Gordhan must answer all questions we gave him through Parliament. He must speak about how he was appointed as finance minister, whether he has a bank account in Canada or any of his relatives, and whether he plans to retire in Canada."

The party accused the two organisations of distortion in their "petty" defence of Gordhan.

"The SACC deliberately misleads the people of South Africa by saying that the EFF and the [commander-in-chief], Julius Malema, are attacking the Zondo commission of inquiry.

"This is a blatant lie from men and women of the cloth. Our unequivocal disapproval of the Zondo commission being held at Tiso Blackstar, the headquarters of the Sunday Times, Business Day, Financial Mail and Sowetan, must never be reduced to an attack on the work of the commission."

The party also pointed out that the two bodies never released any statements when it was revealed that Gordhan lied to Parliament about meeting the Guptas.

It has refused to apologise.

Unacceptable behaviour

SACC general secretary, Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana, said it was unacceptable that an elected public official could call a person, whether a government minister or not, a dog; especially given the connotation of such an expression in African culture.

"Moreover, such name-calling by a popular political leader could easily incite followers to violent acts. It engenders an attitude in society that says other people do not matter. That is not ubuntu. This kind of talk, accompanied by sabre-rattling and talk of war and possible bloodshed, on the eve of electioneering, is deeply concerning."

The SACC also took issue with Malema's trashing of the Zondo commission of inquiry as a "Mickey Mouse show".

Inflammatory and reckless

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation's executive director, Neeshan Balton, said Malema's statements were "inflammatory and reckless". He added that the racialised nature of the attack was "deeply worrying".

"We should be questioning why the EFF chooses to cast aspersions on Gordhan's integrity on public platforms using language that is highly inflammatory. What is the 'loss of life' that Malema is claiming may occur in his 'fight' with Gordhan? Whose life may be lost? How and why? If Malema indeed has information that points to the possibility of 'casualties' in this purported 'fight', should he not be taking the matter to the relevant authorities to avert such a scenario?" Balton asked.

Gordhan lied

But the red berets reiterated that Gordhan lied to Parliament and that it was deplorable, to say the least, that he was defended by the clergy and a struggle veteran foundation.

"It is inconceivable to imagine that Ahmed Kathrada could have gone to Robben Island for his legacy to be abused in defence of liars who undermine an oath of office," said the EFF.


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