Malema takes aim at the judiciary in fiery post-Sona speech

16 February 2021 - 22:04
By Andisiwe Makinana
Former president Jacob Zuma and EFF leader Julius Malema at Zuma's home in Nkandla, KZN.
Image: Twitter/@EFFSouthAfrica Former president Jacob Zuma and EFF leader Julius Malema at Zuma's home in Nkandla, KZN.

EFF leader Julius Malema has accused certain judges of receiving bribes from white businesses, while warning of an uprising against the judiciary if judges conspire with politicians to deal with opponents.

Malema, fresh from having tea with former president Jacob Zuma in Nkandla, was participating in the state of the nation debate in parliament where he delivered a fiery speech in which he criticised President Cyril Ramaphosa and repeatedly referred to him as incompetent, incapacitated and unreliable.

Malema warned Ramaphosa that if the president does not genuinely support the expropriation of land without compensation, he would be kicked out of office and not complete his first term.

We cannot continue to bury our heads in the sand against growing and now believable allegations that some prominent members of the judiciary are in the payroll of the white capitalist establishment,” said Malema about judges.

He said they could not ignore allegations that some judges received bribes through a State Security Agency project called “Project Justice” as well as from the CR17 campaign donations which, he said, by all standards and measures amounted to huge corruption, money-laundering and racketeering.

Former president Jacob Zuma expressed a similar sentiment about the Ramaphosaa campaign funding in a letter after his Zondo commission no-show on Monday.

Malema said on Tuesday: “The judiciary must know that they are not above the constitution. They went to school to become judges, there is nothing so special that gives them powers to think they can amend this constitution and take the rights of people away.”

Malema said some judges contradict themselves in their judgments because they think they are untouchable.

“If they continue to think they are the law and not the interpreters of the law, then the people will rise against such few judges who have made themselves the law and are conspiring with politicians to deal with the opponents of the current establishment,” he said.

Former safety and security minister Sydney Mufamadi told the Zondo commission of inquiry last month of Project Justice, which allegedly involved recruiting and handling sources in the judiciary to influence the outcome of cases against Zuma.

Mufamadi chaired a high-level review panel on the state security agency in 2018. He told Zondo that information provided to the panel indicated that amounts of between R1.2m and R4.5m were routinely taken from SSA and provided to former state security minister David Mahlobo whom, it is said, was responsible for handling these sources.

On Tuesday, Malema claimed that there was an uninterrupted continuity of state capture under Ramaphosa's tenure, “which looks like all along you have been learning from the best”.

He charged that at the rate the allegations were going, there may be a need to establish another commission of inquiry to investigate huge corruption under Ramaphosa's leadership, adding that there may be a need to conduct closer scrutiny of the judiciary.

Under Ramaphosa's watch, corruption was on the rise, he said, citing the auditor-general's reports on government departments and on the special audit of Covid-19 funding.

Malema accused Ramaphosa of replacing the Guptas, who wielded power under Zuma, with “a very powerful” white capitalist capture by white businesses, especially those who played a central role “in buying the conference of the ruling party in 2017”.

“We want to state categorically that any leader of our country who owes loyalty to colonial settlers and white state capturers is defining himself as an enemy of the people. We will isolate and ultimately defeat all puppets of the white capitalist establishment,” he said.

Malema said it was difficult to trust Ramaphosa's insistence on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as genuine, saying the company has subcontracted some of the CR17 campaign funders to be part of the manufacturers of the vaccine.

He questioned why the government was not pursuing the Russian vaccine. He said SA should collaborate with countries like Cuba and Russia to produce its own Covid-19 vaccine.

Malema's attack on the judiciary comes a day after Zuma lambasted the judiciary, saying many of them had “long left their constitutional station to join political battles”. He also fired a broadside at his successor saying he was helped by judges to hide “what on the face of it seem to be bribes obtained to win an internal ANC election”.

Acting minister in the presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni questioned Malema's latest stance on the judiciary.

“We all know when you start making noise against the president and the judiciary to an extent that you stop short of calling for an uprising against the judiciary, we wonder what is it that you are afraid of,” she said.

Ntshavheni referred to the firebrand leader as an empty vessel that makes the loudest noise but added that South Africans were no longer fooled by his noise.

She questioned Malema's interest and role in ANC's factional battles, saying he should leave these to ANC members and pointed out that he only supported ANC presidents once they leave office.

“When it was Mbeki, he was not good enough, you went to president Zuma; when it was president Zuma, you went to Mbeki, now it's Ramaphosa you go back to President Zuma. You said you will never support president Zuma but you are the one supporting president Zuma.”

Ntshavheni said while they, as ANC members, supported Zuma as a former president of the party and state, “the rule of law will apply with no fear and no favour even to you, Malema”.

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