Making Sense Of EFF’s Attack On Pravin Gordhan

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan on Tuesday continued with his testimony at the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture.Meanwhile, the EFF demonstrated outside the building. “The party laid a charge against Gordhan with the Public Protector, as he had previously stated in an answer to a parliamentary question that he had not met the Guptas. “EFF leader Julius Malema addressed the crowd late on Tuesday afternoon. PICTURE: ALON SKUY

If Cyril Ramaphosa were not a weak leader, he would push for disciplinary action against Zuma for undermining his authority, writes MOLIFI TSHABALALA

To pursue a particular agenda, the EFF uses a divide-and-conquer strategy which takes a form of destructive personality and race politics. It identifies a target who is often of non-African descent. 

In Nelson Mandela Bay, for example, it targeted Athol Trollip, who is of European descent, to punish the DA for voting against its motion in Parliament for the expropriation of land without compensation, one of its seven non-negotiable cardinal pillars. 

The EFF argued that Trollip had chaired a federal meeting that took a decision to vote against the motion. 

The argument is devoid of superior logic, on which the EFF prides itself. Neither Trollip, who is a federal chairperson nor the Federal Executive could change a party policy. But a Federal Congress could, following proper discussions. Incidentally, the DA re-affirmed its commitment to secure property rights at its last Federal Congress, in April 2018, about two months after the EFF had tabled the motion.

The EFF is not part of the DA-led coalition governments in Johannesburg and Tshwane. It supports them, a phenomenon known as a “confidence and supply deal”, aimed at helping a coalition government to pass budgets, legislation, and other important decisions in a council or Parliament. 

The EFF abuses the phenomenon to impose its policies on the DA, against which it is ideologically opposed, and claims easy victories. 
The EFF also claims easy victories in the removals of former president Jacob Zuma, former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene, and other public servants. 
While Zuma is gone and the EFF claims an easy victory in his removal, the system remains intact. 

With Zuma gone, the EFF is now targeting Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, accusing him of undermining African leadership, grand corruption, and serving the interests of white economic oligarchs. Gordhan is of Indian descent.

Inadvertently, Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu have rejoined the Zuma faction, which draws in Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to fight Gordhan. The EFF has admitted it made a mistake to vote for Mkhwebane as public protector amid an allegation that she was a spy with close ties to Zuma. 

This is the woman to whom Zuma wanted her predecessor Thuli Madonsela to defer an investigation into state capture.
Following the release of her report on a Bankorp/Absa loan in which she instructed Parliament to amend the Reserve Bank’s mandate and not defending her remedial action under court review, the EFF called on Mkhwebane to resign. 

Now it has confidence in her against Gordhan. It has lodged a complaint with her office to investigate whether Gordhan has misled Parliament about his meetings with the Guptas and his alleged role in a rogue SA Revenue Services unit. 

In what could be deduced as playing along, Mkhwebane subpoenaed Gordhan to answer questions about a complaint lodged against him for authorizing an early retirement package for former deputy Sars commissioner Ivan Pillay and rehiring him as a private consultant. 

Yet, in a letter to her in February 2018, the time at which Gordhan became public enterprises minister, Mkhwebane could not provide his lawyers with answers on information she needs from their client.

Taking the EFF along with them, Malema and Shivambu have rejoined the Zuma faction. 

Entering the fray surrounding the Sars inquiry, Zuma submitted an affidavit to the Constitutional Court in support of Tom Moyane that Judge Robert Nugent went beyond his scope when he recommended his expulsion. In doing so, Zuma not only joined the fight against Gordhan but also undermined Ramaphosa’s authority. 

If Cyril Ramaphosa were not a weak leader, he would push for disciplinary action against Zuma for undermining his authority. He has crossed the line.

Tshabalala is an independent political analyst.

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