Tit-for-tat in Gordhan-Malema war

Pravin and Anisha Gordhan
Pravin and Anisha Gordhan
Image: via Facebook

In a tit-for-tat move hours after public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan filed a defamation complaint against EFF leader Julius Malema on Monday, Malema tweeted that he would open a criminal case against Gordhan on Tuesday on charges ranging from money laundering, corruption and racketeering to fraud.

He did not provide details.

In a speech last week at an EFF rally outside the state capture inquiry in Johannesburg where Gordhan was giving testimony, Malema alleged that Gordhan’s daughter, Anisha, was awarded government contracts as a result of her father’s position in government.

Gordhan denies any wrongdoing, and also says his daughter is not corrupt.

In that address‚ Malema accused Gordhan of being corrupt and a “dog of white monopoly capital” and claimed that he hated black people.

Gordhan’s lawyer‚ Tebogo Malatji, said: “Those statements were hurtful‚ intended to incite hatred and constituted hate speech.”

Gordhan filed a complaint of crimen injuria and criminal defamation at the Brooklyn police station in Pretoria and asked the police to investigate any incitement to violence contained in Malema’s speech.

Crimen injuria is an act of unlawfully, intentionally and seriously impairing the dignity of another.

Gordhan also laid another complaint at the Equality Court, seeking an apology from Malema and his deputy, Floyd Shivambu, as well as damages of R150,000 which, his lawyer said, would be donated to charitable causes if granted.

Speaking outside the court, Gordhan said: “The determined defence of corruption and the corrupt, using personal attacks, racism and alleged hate speech, is not acceptable and must be challenged.

“I have not responded until now to the absolute nonsensical and unsubstantiated attacks, but extending these attacks to my family and threatening harmony amongst the people of South Africa was a step too far.”

At the police station earlier, he said people had to know who was working for them and who was cheating them.

“We are in the process of cleaning society [in the private and public sectors] of any kind of corrupt activity.

“Corruption does not hurt rich people‚ it hurts the poor.”

The EFF spokesperson did not answer calls to his cellphone seeking comment.

An official at the party’s headquarters said the EFF leaders were meeting and could issue a statement later.

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