The Economic Freedom Fighters are gearing up in their fight against Pravin Gordhan, by taking the side of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. The much-maligned office-bearer has come under fire for taking remedial action against Gordhan, just days after she suffered an embarrassing loss in court. The EFF, however, have nailed their colours to the mast.
Senior structures in the party have advised their lawyers to join with Mkhwebane’s legal team and fight the judicial review lodged by the public enterprises minister. Gordhan has been accused of circumventing proper SARS procedure, by granting an early retirement payout to former Commissioner Ivan Pillay.
The public protector says he must face disciplinary action for the decision made in 2011, but PG hasn’t accepted her version of events. With all the subtlety of a hammer striking iron, the EFF have confirmed they will be backing Busisiwe Mkhwebane all the way.
In a statement released late on Monday evening, Party Spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi hit out at organisations who want Mkhwebane removing from her position. He also claims that a “Thuma Mina faction” – referring to pro-Cyril forces in the ANC – will protect Pravin Gordhan at all costs.
“The EFF has instructed its lawyers to join in the legal defence of the public protector’s review against Pravin Gordhan. It is clear that this office is under attack from the Thuma Mina faction, and it must be defended by all constitution-loving South Africans.”
“It is important to underscore that the decisions of the public protector are legally binding until they are set aside by a court of law. Simply filing papers for a review does not set aside the decision: We reiterate that Ramaphosa must not reappoint Gordhan to his cabinet.”
EFF statement issued by Mbuyiseni Ndlozi
To say the EFF and Pravin Gordhan have bad blood would be the understatement of the year. The pair have been at odds ever since senior leadership in the party accused the minister of running South Africa through a secret, powerful cabal. But the insults didn’t just stop at conspiracy theories.
Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu both insisted that Gordhan was “openly racist” towards black people, and accused him of multiple acts of corruption. Pravin eventually laid hate speech charges against Juju, only for the firebrand leader to return the favour 24 hours later. It’s arguably no surprise they’ve come out to bat for Mkhwebane, here.