EFF's unsubstantiated attack on judiciary continues - in Parliament this time

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Yoliswa Yako (Photo: Facebook)
Yoliswa Yako (Photo: Facebook)
  • The EFF continued its unsubstantiated attack on the judiciary.
  • The party claims white people are not prosecuted.
  • The DA had a go at Arthur Fraser, Busisiwe Mkhwebane and the SAHRC.

The EFF, who have several members of its leadership standing trial, continued its unsubstantiated attack on the judiciary and National Director of Public Prosecutions Shamila Batohi.

While the EFF defended beleaguered Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, the DA had a go at her, Department of Correctional Services commissioner, Arthur Fraser, and the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).

At the debate on President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address in February, EFF leader Julius Malema, who is standing trial for assault and an unlawful discharge of a firearm case, launched an attack on the judiciary without providing any proof of his allegations. He has done the same on other occasions since.

On Tuesday, during the debate on the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development's budget vote, EFF MP Yoliswa Yako continued the campaign.

She claimed the department, under Justice Minister Ronald Lamola's lead, refused to prosecute apartheid crimes.

She said:

Why has that murderous apartheid criminal, FW de Klerk, not been charged for the murder of so many black people in this country? Why has this democratic state dragged its feet in prosecuting white criminals? Why has the NPA dragged its feet in prosecuting Markus Jooste as the biggest kingpin of those who are corrupt post-1994? The list of white criminals walking about freely is too long,

"This lends credence to the perception of many that justice in South Africa has eyes and ears, and that it particularly does not like black faces and views whites as saints."

READ | Adriaan Basson | Where is the next generation of Billy Downers in the NPA?

She referred to Batohi as a "renowned Indian racist", who only strengthens the hold racists have over the criminal justice system.

"She has failed to initiate any significant corruption case against any of the army of corrupt officials and business people we have in this country," Yako said.

She claimed Batohi's brief is to "harass" those who oppose her backers.

She contrasted Batohi with Mkhwebane.

"The Public Protector is today threatened with ejection from the office by the DA, supported by the ANC, a party supposedly fighting for the emancipation of black people.

"The Public Protector's only sin was to go after those who are considered untouchable in our society."

She said South Africans are fooling themselves if they think the courts are impartial adjudicators.

"The department has also not lifted a finger to investigate the allegation that some judges in our courts are bought and that they structure their judgments in such a way that they arrive at a predetermined conclusion," Yako said.

ANC MP Richard Dyantyi said the EFF was populist and playing to the gallery.

He said Yako played the race card, but called other people racist.

Dyantyi said:

Casting aspersions on the courts and judiciary is an attack on the independence of the judiciary. It is an attack on the supreme law of the land.

Lamola accused the EFF of "wishful amnesia" in saying apartheid-era crimes are not prosecuted.

He referred to the Ahmed Timol case and said the NPA is working on these crimes with the Hawks, and there are already cases "in the pipeline".

Lamola said it is crucial to protect and support the judiciary.

"It is the most important cornerstone in our democracy, and any unnecessary spurious allegations, they do not take us anywhere, nor do they take this democracy further.

"But it is shocking that some of the organisations that continue to doubt and attack the judiciary, on a day to day basis, like the EFF, they are in our courts trying to find justice. Why would you go to a platform that you believe is hijacked, it is bought. It lacks integrity?

"It is because they trust they trust this system," Lamola said.

DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach called for action against those casting aspersions on the judiciary.

She said:

In order for the criminal justice system to function optimally, we must, at all costs, continue to fight for an independent judiciary. Spurious and unfounded claims against the judiciary must be confronted and dealt with, and those making it must be held to account.

DA MP Werner Horn, meanwhile, said information in the public domain should preclude Fraser from ever again being allowed near public funds.

"You can do the right thing, with respect to Mr Fraser, if you really want to," Horn said.

Both of these institutions have suffered severe reputational damage because of how it has discharged its duties.

"In the case of the Public Protector, anything more complex than ordinary bread and butter matters, like pension disputes … has turned out to be a mountain too high and a valley too low for the incumbent," Horn said.

"In our fight against state capture and endemic corruption, we deserve much better from this institution."

Horn also said, unless the SAHRC acts with the same urgency in local governments in provinces other than the Western Cape, as it does in the City of Cape Town, "it will be viewed and, rightly so, as nothing more than a special branch of the ANC". 

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