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Mon Jul 25 10:09:54 SAST 2016

It's war on the 'Zuptas'

Neo Goba | 05 February, 2016 01:05
'COLONISERS OUT': EFF leader Julius Malema launched a blistering attack on the politically connected Gupta family at a press conference in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, yesterday
Image by: ALON SKUY

Julius Malema has declared war on the Guptas and has called on the family to leave South Africa with "immediate effect".

"We're not going to allow a South Africa that is sold over a plate of curry," he said. The EFF leader also accused the family, who are close friends of President Jacob Zuma, of running a "corrupt cartel".

Malema's declaration of war was made only days after Zuma's allies in the ANC questioned his close ties with the Gupta family - and yesterday Malema added his strident voice.

"We are not going to allow the Guptas to masquerade as legitimate businesspeople when they are not. We're tired of talking about the Guptas."

He said the EFF would do to the "Zuptas what we did to the colonisers. We'll engage them direct".

Malema said the EFF would no longer allow Gupta media entities - The New Age newspaper and the ANN7 television news channel - to attend its events.

"Our brothers and sisters working for the Guptas, this is not about you. Move out of the way. We're going for the enemy.

"We can't guarantee the safety of those working for the Guptas," Malema said.

This statement was condemned by the SA Editors' Forum.

Spokesman Adriaan Basson said he was worried by Malema's intimidation of journalists who worked for Gupta-owned media.

"It is unacceptable for any political party to intimidate journalists and to state publicly that they cannot guarantee their safety," he said.

"The EFF is entitled to its views about media owners but should allow journalists to conduct their work without fear and in a climate conducive to the free exchange of information."

The New Age editor Moegsien Williams said on Twitter that his newspaper would not report on the EFF if the party could not guarantee the safety of his reporters.

Williams invited Malema to reconsider his position.

"We hope that he will reconsider his decision. If the EFF cannot guarantee the safety of our staff, unfortunately we will not be covering them," Williams said.

Outlining the EFF's response to Zuma's offer to pay a portion of the costs of the upgrading of his Nkandla private home not related to security, Malema said there would be no deal with the president.

He said he was not prepared to welcome Zuma's Nkandla settlement proposal unless he agreed to the EFF's terms.

"We [are] not going to agree to any settlement until he reaffirms the powers of the public protector, reaffirms that the remedial [actions stipulated by the] public protector are binding, and agrees that in failing to implement the remedial action he was in breach of the constitution and of his oath of office," Malema said.

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