Leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters, Julius Malema believes finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s arrest is linked to President Jacob Zuma fighting back at those opposing his leadership.
Malema, together with DA’s former leader Hellen Zille claim Zuma is the main brain behind the minister’s imminent prosecution.
This comes after the director of National Public Prosecutions, Shaun Abrahams announced in Pretoria that the embattled minister would have to appear in court next month, on November 2, on fraud charges and possibly other charges relating to the investigation of the so-called rogue unit set up at the SA Revenue Service (Sars).
The fraud charges against Gordhan was related to his alleged approval of former Sars director Ivan Pillay’s early retirement, worth R1.14 million, at Sars’ expense.
This is “the way Zuma works”, wrote Zille, adding that Zuma and his allies would look until they found something onto which they could hook a charge against Pravin Gordhan
“First they tried to make spying charges stick on Pravin, now fraud. I faced exactly the same – to divert attention from the real crooks,” the former DA leader added.
Speaking further on this, EFF’s Malema said “Gordhan’s arrest is Zuma fighting back” against the evidence presented by National Treasury before the public protector in connection to the investigation of “state capture” against the president.
“We support #Pravin, in 02 November 2016, all those who love our country and its constitution must occupy the streets of Pretoria in support of our democracy,” Malema tweeted.
Out going Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is currently investigating allegations of state capture attempts by the controversial Gupta family, despite Zuma’s insistence that the new public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane handles the case.
Related to Malema and Zille’s claim, political analyst Andre Duvenhage said the prosecution is Zuma fighting back, he pulled the trigger when the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) announced Pravin Gordhan would be criminally charged
“We are looking at the implosion of the Zuma regime. He is now fighting like a wounded buffalo. He is desperate to survive. This is Zuma fighting back, he will fight to the bitter end,” Duvenhage said.
“The fight is now in the open. The factions are clear and we are going to see blood on the floor. We are talking about a complete breakup of the ANC, and it is not a small group this time, as was the case with Cope, but a big breakaway.”
Duvenhage also said the timing of Gordhan’s prosecution was interesting, as it came at the end of Thuli Madonsela’s term as the public protector “who they wanted to bypass on the state capture issue.”
Meanwhile, the ANC has called on Gordhan to cooperate with the NPA in the case so the matter will be brought to a quick end.
“This investigation and related, untested and mischievous ‘conspiracy theories’ have had a detrimental effect on the South African economy and we trust that today’s announcement will move us a step closer to uncovering the truth from facts and bring this matter to finality,” the party said.