Gordhan vs Malema: Equality Court to hear of alleged scathing attacks

EFF leader Julius Malema will head to the Equality Court on February 4, following complaints laid by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.

Gordhan's spokesperson Adrian Lackay confirmed to News24 that the matter will be heard next month.

In November last year, Gordhan lodged complaints against Malema and EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu. Charges of criminal defamation and crimen injuria were also laid with the South African Police Services (SAPS).

READ: Gordhan fed up with 'lies' & 'racism', lays charges against Malema

Following the opening of the criminal cases at the Brooklyn Police Station in Tshwane, Gordhan said: "I think what we're saying to South Africans is that we can't any longer allow the corruption that's going [on] 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."

Scathing attack

Last year, 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 also 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 benefitted due to her father's role as a government minister, was untrue.

Gordhan seeks unconditional apology

The minister said the statements by the two EFF leaders were clearly intended to be hurtful, incite harm and promote hatred, and thus constituted hate speech as contemplated by the Equality Act.

Gordhan's attorney, Tebogo Malatji, told the media that in terms of the complaint in the Equality Court, the minister was seeking an unconditional apology and damages of R150 000 to be ordered by the court jointly and severally against Malema and Shivambu.

If successful, the damages claimed would be donated to a charitable organisation that supported job creation for unemployed youth.

Malema hits back with charges of his own

Days after Gordhan laid the charges, Malema hit back and lodged a criminal case against the minister.

Malema claims that Gordhan holds an unlawful bank account in Canada which has a balance of more than R665m. The EFF leader says the funds are the proceeds of favours.

This information is held in a charge sheet crafted by the EFF that details five charges against Gordhan and a further two charges against his daughter, Anisha Gordhan.

After opening the case at the same police station, Malema also questioned why Gordhan opened criminal cases against him and Shivambu.

READ MORE: Malema claims Gordhan has offshore bank account with balance of over R660m in illicit proceeds

"Pravin came to open a case here, why is he opening a case of civil claims, because civil claims you don't open a case, you just write a letter from the lawyers and say to Malema, 'withdraw what you said and [apologise] otherwise I am suing you 150 (sic)'," the EFF leader told the crowd.

"Now he comes here to disturb the police who are doing a wonderful job here, by bringing useless charges which means nothing."

Gordhan denied that he has a bank account in Canada. He also denied the EFF's allegations when he appeared before the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture last week.

"It is simply their latest attack on the continuing efforts to combat corruption and theft in state-owned companies and other public institutions," a statement read.

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