The fight between Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and the EFF took centre stage in the National Assembly again on Wednesday with EFF leader Julius Malema warning that Gordhan’s next target was Human Settlements and Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.
Malema also took Ramaphosa to task for excluding deputy finance minister David Masondo from the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) board which his predecessors chaired.
“I never thought you had a problem with young people; I don’t understand why do you isolate Masondo? You remind me of the days when (former president Thabo) Mbeki isolated Peter Mokaba and Peter died asking the question and asking for a meeting with president (Nelson) Mandela and Mbeki to ask what he had done wrong. I see the similarity in wanting to destroy Masondo,” Malema charged.
“We want to ask you Mr President to reconsider the decision to exclude the deputy minister from the PIC board because if you continue to exclude these young people who are here to give us leadership, we will continue to fail these institutions. Masondo is not the type to be a pushover and we all know that the reason he is excluded is because he is not easily manipulated. Trevor Manuel, Maria Ramos and honourable Jamnadas (Gordhan) cannot push him around.”
The EFF leader addressed the ongoing saga of the Sars rogue unit saying that when he raised the issue with the unit in 2010 he became a target.
“I became a victim of this unit. I went to them in 2010 and met Oupa Magashule, Ivan Pillay and Johan van Loggerenberg. I gave them the document which contained all this information; after I left all my problems started,” Malema said.
“What type of a president are you even when presented with hardcore evidence of the most dangerous activities of honourable Jamnadas you still don’t act? The reality is that the rogue unit was not established with a directive of any sitting president and did not report to him. That means those who directed it were as powerful if not more powerful than a sitting president.”
Malema also claimed that minister Sisulu – who lost out on being Ramaphosa’s deputy at the ANC’s elective conference in 2017 – was going to be targeted by Gordhan and his so called “cabal”.
“Many of you are still traumatised by the activities of the cabal and that is how honourable Jamnadas became untouchable. He needs to know that unlike you who are traumatised by him we are not scared of him. We are going to take him on toe to toe. Jamnadas’ faction destroyed a lot of comrades and smeared a lot of comrades the same way they are doing now.
“When you disagree with them they go to the papers. Let me tell you who their next victim is: it is minister Lindiwe Sisulu because they are projecting her as a person who is competing with the president. Next they will character assassinate her because anyone that honourable Jamnadas does not want, he engages in illegal activities to destroy their image,” Malema said.
“We are not going to be held at ransom by Pravin. You are scared of him, we are not.”
After Malema’s address, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor rose to Gordhan’s defence saying that the Malema had cast aspersions on Gordhan without raising a substantive motion.
Pandor also accused National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise of allowing Malema to go on “consistently” without calling him to order.
Also defending Gordhan was minister in the presidency Jackson Mthembu who said that Gordhan had worked tirelessly to flush our corruption at state-owned enterprises and that some of that corruption was done by “EFF cronies”, leading to attacks against the minister by members of the party.