Gordhan is 'the real president of South Africa', says Malema

Julius Malema savages Pravin Gordhan.
Julius Malema savages Pravin Gordhan.
Image: THULANI MBELE

EFF leader Julius Malema says Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan is "the real president of South Africa".

Malema, who has had a strained relationship with Gordhan from his days as the ANC Youth League president, said Gordhan was more powerful than President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The firebrand leader made the remark at the party's head offices in Braamfontein yesterday during a press briefing on a wide range of issues.

His previous tax troubles also started when Gordhan was finance minister.

EFF leader Julius Malema made his position clear on the land issue and took a swipe at Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. He also spoke about his party’s stance on Tom Moyane and the SARS commission during a briefing held by the EFF in collaboration with Contralesa in Johannesburg on July 5 2018.

Malema claimed he was slapped with a huge tax bill following his disagreement with the appointment of Gordhan as finance minister during former president Jacob Zuma's tenure.

Malema was the youth league president at the time.

"I became corrupt the day I challenged Pravin's appointment, when I said to Zuma; 'Why do you keep on appointing minorities into the economic cluster to the exclusion of the black Africans?'

"That day I was declared an enemy, and stupid enough, I had my problems of SARS, that's where they got me... that's how my taxes landed on your desks," he said.

Malema cited the filing of an affidavit by Gordhan in the disciplinary action against suspended SARS head Tom Moyane to illustrate Gordhan's alleged undue powers.

EFF chairman Dali Mpofu represents Moyane - a Zuma acolyte - in his ongoing legal battles with Ramaphosa, who wants him removed as SARS commissioner.

Malema also accused Gordhan of making "illegal" appointments to boards of state-owned entities without consulting cabinet or the ANC's deployment committee.

"He does as he wishes, we cannot allow that. We've never elected Pravin and he will never be an official president of South Africa," Malema said.

Malema said Ramaphosa was "useless" for allowing a minister to be "powerful the way Pravin is".

The Department of Public Enterprises said Gordhan would not respond to Malema's allegations.

Ramaphosa's spokeswoman, Khusela Diko, said: "We cannot dignify such rants with a response."

Malema's frontal attack on Gordhan was similar to how his deputy, Floyd Shivambu, had also taken aim at National Treasury deputy director-general Ismail Momoniat, who is known to be close to Gordhan.

Shivambu accused Momoniat of being part of an Indian cabal and "a neo-liberal technocrat who doesn't respect African leadership".

Malema said he wished to be invited to give evidence at the ongoing commission of inquiry into how SARS was used as a political weapon.


"My houses were taken by Pravin, I was humiliated by Pravin," he said.


Meanwhile, earlier in the briefing Malema struck a reconciliatory tone as he surprisingly defended Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini's right to contribute to the land debate.

The king has dared the government to even think about taking away land held under the Ingonyama Trust, of which he's the sole trustee.

"What the king has said [is] a contribution to the land debate... why does everyone else speak but the king can't," Malema said.

Malema said far worse contributions had been made to debates on land expropriation by "boers who declared civil war" if their land was touched.

Ramaphosa's spokeswoman, Khusela Diko, said: "We cannot dignify such rants with a response."

Malema's frontal attack on Gordhan was similar to how his deputy, Floyd Shivambu, had also taken aim at National Treasury deputy director-general Ismail Momoniat, who is known to be close to Gordhan.

Shivambu accused Momoniat of being part of an Indian cabal and "a neo-liberal technocrat who doesn't respect African leadership".

Malema said he wished to be invited to give evidence at the ongoing commission of inquiry into how SARS was used as a political weapon.

"My houses were taken by Pravin, I was humiliated by Pravin," he said.

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