Charges, counter-charges as EFF, Gordhan tiff escalates

JOHANNESBURG. – EFF leader Julius Malema claims that Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin 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.

Malema, accompanied by EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu and EFF secretary general Godrich Gardee, opened these cases against Gordhan and his daughter at the Brooklyn police station in Pretoria East on Tuesday.

According to the EFF document, in which Gordhan is labelled as accused one, the cases relate to the South African Revenue Service (SARS) rogue unit, state capture, perjury and the Canadian bank account.

Charge 1:

Contravention of the Intelligence Act – this allegation refers to the formation of the SARS rogue unit between 1999 and 2014.

Charge 2:

Contravention of the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act – this allegation refers to state capture and Gordhan’s alleged failure to report corrupt activities.

Charge 3:

Racketeering and/or money laundering – this refers to the bank account held in Canada.

According to the document, the account is held at the Royal Bank of Canada, the account holder is Gordhan and the account balance is $48 756 292 or R675 717 205.

“He ordered various taxpayers to deposit large amounts of money into the said account in exchange for favours, which were to the detriment of the fiscus and the South African public,” the document read.

Charge 4:

Fraud – the EFF alleges that Gordhan unlawfully and intentionally committed fraud in relation to charge 3.

Charge 5:

Perjury – the document alleges that Gordhan lied under oath in respect to meetings with the Guptas, his financial dealings in Canada and the unlawful activities of his daughter.

In relation to Gordhan’s daughter, Malema laid two charges, one of fraud and another of corruption, both relating to her work with Investec.

The “evidence”

In the document, Malema claims the evidence will be supplied to the investigating officers.

The evidence includes the Sikhakhane panel report, banking details, confidential statements of key witnesses, Gordhan’s affidavit meant for the Zondo commission and the transcript of Gordhan’s testimony at the commission.

The EFF document lists Malema as the complainant.

Speaking to a crowd of EFF supporters outside of the police station, Malema said that all evidence was supplied to the police and that if the police guarantee indemnity, he would make available a list of people who would testify that they deposited money into the Canadian bank account in exchange for favours from Gordhan.

Pravin Gordhan

“We gave the evidence to the police about the crimes committed by Pravin since 1999 until 2014,” Malema said.

He added that the account was created while Gordhan was at SARS. 

Malema also questioned why Gordhan opened criminal cases again Malema and Shivambu on Monday relating to criminal defamation and crimen injuria.

“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 apologies 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 dismisses allegations as fake news and lies 

In a statement issued on Tuesday by the Department of Public Enterprises, Gordhan hit back at Malema, dismissing all the allegations levelled against him as baseless lies, fake news and fabrication.

Gordhan further said the actions of the EFF and its leaders were “flagrant” abuse of the criminal justice system.

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,” the statement read. 

“The facts are: before the Zondo commission of inquiry last week and under oath, Minister Gordhan denied that he has a bank account in Canada. He also explained that his daughter has not derived any financial benefit from government business, nor conducted any business with a state organ.” 

“Today’s actions by the EFF leadership are the politics of distraction. Corruption is the real enemy in South Africa. What the public should be asking those who launch these attacks is: ‘What are you hiding and why are you so desperate to distract the public?’”

The statement added that the content of the “charge sheet” or “indictment” is false, defamatory and malicious and has been disseminated publicly with the specific objective of causing injury to the reputations and integrity of Gordhan and his family. 

“Minister Gordhan and his family reserve their rights to pursue any civil actions for damages arising out of these malevolent and defamatory allegations,” the statement reads. 

Gordhan’s charges against Malema

On Monday Gordhan laid two charges against Malema at the same police station after the politician verbally attacked him last week 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.

The minister also indicated on Monday that he would lay a complaint of hate speech against Malema and Shivambu with the Equality Court.

He 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. – News24