Cape Town – EFF leader Julius Malema believes ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa and the national executive committee (NEC) have made a big mistake by insisting that leaders facing criminal charges must step aside within 30 days or risk being suspended.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Malema believes the step-aside resolution was tantamount to “collapsing” the party.
Ramaphosa instructed the office of the secretary-general, Ace Magashule – who is facing criminal charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering – to communicate the party’s decision to all affected members of the ANC.
Malema also launched a fresh attack on the Zondo commission, labelling its chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, a “factionalist”.
Malema is of the opinion the commission was not focusing on other people the EFF believes are corrupt, such as businessman Johan Rupert. He also accused Zondo of siding with Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan – who has made several appearances at the inquiry and was forced to admit under cross-examination that he relied on gossip when he accused former Sars commissioner Tom Moyane of state capture.
Referencing a term used by corruption-accused former president Jacob Zuma, “judicial dictatorship”, he repeated the sentiments of the so-called RET grouping in the ANC that prosecutions were selective. He denied that the EFF was part of “any faction in any political party”.
Ramaphosa said last night the NEC’s step-aside decision was non-negotiable.
“All members who have been charged with corruption or other serious crimes must step aside within 30 days, failing which they should be suspended in terms of Rule 25.70 of the ANC constitution. The (NEC) meeting emphasised that the 30-day period will be to enable the implementation of the decision in line with the guidelines, not to review the decision,” Ramaphosa said.
Malema said: “Cyril is making a big mistake. He is badly advised. You cannot just sit in a bathroom and remove a secretary-general.
’’I don’t think they know what that position includes. From the comfort of your own home, just with a smell of Rajah (spice), you remove an SG… I don’t think he knows what he’s talking about.
“But maybe he saw that they are disorganised, the Magashules themselves. That position is not a position you just wake up and attack. That is the belly of the party, so you are attacking the party from the belly, you are collapsing it.
“It works for us as the EFF, but that’s a horrible decision to take.” he said.
“The ANC structures elected Magashule with all these scandals hanging over his head. They knew about all these things. That he’s being charged is just being technical. They elected (him) knowing the scandals. They love him like that. They love them corrupt, anyway,” Malema added.
Magashule is facing corruption charges related to the much-publicised asbestos case during his tenure as Free State premier
The EFF leader said the party had supported the formation of the Zondo inquiry but had grown concerned about its “agenda” over the past couple of months.
“State capture is factional and Zondo is a factionalist. It does not mean we should stay away from it. The guy worships Pravin Gordhan you can see he is in factional boundaries. He is very scared of white people,” Malema said.
“Zondo is not our god, we are not going to be scared of judicial dictatorship. Zondo is factional. We fought for that commission. It is not what we envisioned, we envisioned a commission that will hold the Guptas and Rupert accountable.”