State capture inquiry has become factional, but Jacob Zuma must appear: EFF

‘We fought for that commission but the way it is going it is not what we envisaged’, says party leader Julius Malema

31 March 2021 - 07:30
By nonkululeko njilo AND Nonkululeko Njilo
EFF leader Julius Malema said if former president Jacob Zuma has nothing to hide, he must appear before the state capture inquiry.
Image: ALON SKUY/THE TIMES EFF leader Julius Malema said if former president Jacob Zuma has nothing to hide, he must appear before the state capture inquiry.

The EFF has become the latest organisation to mount an attack on state capture inquiry chairperson deputy justice Raymond Zondo.

The EFF’s attack, made at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, came just hours after the ANC, through President Cyril Ramaphosa, distanced itself from those attacking the inquiry and seeking to undermine the judiciary.

Malema said on Tuesday the inquiry had become factional, something his party did not envision when it was established in 2018.

“We fought for that commission but the way it is going it is not what we envisaged. We envisaged a commission that would hold all the establishments which steal from our people and our government accountable, not [just] a faction of society.

“We don’t agree that it must only be the Guptas, but the Oppenheimer and Rupert  stodges who must be held accountable, too, because they continue to steal from our country. But we don’t see that happening,” he said.

Explaining his stance, Malema made an example of former president Jacob Zuma’s refusal to appear before the inquiry and its decision to take the matter to the Constitutional Court.

He slammed the lack of similar action against others who had allegedly refused to appear.

He also made reference to advocate Dali Mpofu’s recent “shut up” rant which saw Zondo reprimand Mpofu. The EFF leader said Mpofu’s outburst was in reaction to racism.

“Racism is violent. When you meet it, you must cut the head properly. You must not play with racists. You must put them at their right place and that’s what Dali did. We are very proud of Dali,” he said.

Malema said his party would speak out against wrongdoing at the inquiry even if it meant going to prison.

“Zondo is not our god. He’s a human being, also with stories of being irresponsible. We established that commission and it is not a property of Zondo. It doesn’t belong to him, it belongs to the people of SA. When Zondo doesn’t handle that commission well, we must point it out without fear or favour.

“We are not going to be scared when a judge is mishandling issues in a factional way in favour of white establishments. That we must keep quiet because he’s a judge, we are not going to allow that nonsense. He can take us all to prison but we have to point it out.”

A month after Malema had tea with Zuma following his public defiance to appear before the inquiry, he said the party’s stance had not changed.

“[Former] President Zuma must go to the commission with all the reasons and the reservations he has. He must go in there and present those things inside the commission so that when Zondo makes wrong decisions, we are able to review him. We can’t review Zondo when we are called to come but we stay away. We still feel [former] president Zuma must be held accountable. We still feel that if Zuma has nothing to hide, he must go to the commission.

“It doesn’t matter whether a judge is treating you unfairly or not. You still participate in that unfair proceedings and even bring it to the attention of the judge that ‘You are being unfair on the following’. Even ask for their recusal [and] when they refuse to recuse themselves, you still participate because you have got recourse. You can take them on review, and all those points you raised during proceedings would now work in your favour. That’s how much we believe we need to participate in the Zondo commission,” he said.

Malema said he looked forward to seeing how Ramaphosa would be treated when he appears before Zondo next month.