Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan says "Enough is enough."
Gordhan has laid two charges against EFF leader Julius Malema, after the politician verbally attacked him last week.
Gordhan's lawyer confirmed to News24 that he had laid charges of criminal defamation and crimen injuria against the EFF leader. Gordhan asked the police to look into incitement of violence.
Speaking to media outside the Brooklyn Police Station after opening the case, the minister said: "I think what we're saying to South Africans is that we can't any longer allow the corruption that's going at all levels in this country to be masked by racism, by personal attacks, by family attacks and of course political attacks as well. So we have decided enough is enough.
"If you want to argue with us politically that's fine but once you lie and you attack families, and you propagate these lies widely enough, but you also start dividing South African society then it is totally unacceptable. Because race is a very inflammable factor in South Africa."
Last week, Malema launched a scathing attack on Gordhan outside the venue where the minister was testifying before the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture.
At the time, he called Gordhan "corrupt", "a dog of white monopoly capital" and claimed Gordhan hated black people.
Malema has made claims over contracts involving Gordhan's daughter, Anisha, saying they were allegedly awarded by National Treasury and other government departments, seemingly as a result of her father's position in government.
Gordhan has strongly denied that his daughter did business with the State.
A News24 investigation revealed that much of what the EFF claimed to be evidence showing Anisha had benefited due to her father's role as a government minister, in fact showed this to be untrue.
When contacted for comment about the charges laid against him, Malema refused to reply, saying only, "Yah, get your reaction from your racist editor Adriaan Basson."
On Friday, Basson, News24 Editor-in-Chief, wrote a column critical of the EFF leader's attacks on Gordhan and Advocate Paul Pretorius SC, an evidence leader for the commission of inquiry into state capture.
On Saturday, when the South African National Editors' Forum announced it would seek a meeting with the EFF to discuss attacks on the media, Malema took aim at Basson.
On Sunday, Malema continued his attack on the minister, saying he was guilty of double standards when it came to public scrutiny of his daughter.
"When it's an Indian daughter, it's fine: Case closed. No need for a bank statement," Malema told those gathered at the Economic Freedom Fighters' Manifesto Consultation Assembly in Pretoria.
Yet, he said when black African politicians had family members allegedly involved in work for the government, a different standard was applied.
"If Pravin says: 'Don't involve my daughter', [this is respected]… If I say don't involve my cousin or mother, [he is told]: 'No, you can't say that, you are a public representative.'"
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