- Julius Malema has been causing a stir outside of the state capture inquiry, hurling insults at Pravin Gordhan and now Advocate Paul Pretorius
- The insults aimed at the Advocate are a direct violation of the inquiries own legal framework
- Malema is now facing the possibility of a fine or even a prison sentence.
While Julius Malema of the Economic Freedom fighters might be enjoying the limelight after his antics at the state capture inquiry, the leader may just have taken it too far.
Their attacks on minister Pravin Gordhan has reached a whole new level. The minister stands accused of being a racist and of being Jacob Zuma’s “biggest supporter”.
This time around Gordhan was not the only one at the receiving end of the EFF’s wrath. This time Advocate Paul Pretorius was also scrutinised. Pretorius is the head of the state capture investigation and has a personal connection with Gordhan.
In 2017 the advocate represented the minister's spokesperson Adrian Lackay at a CCMA arbitration case against SARS. Lackay had previously worked for the tax firm. Due to this connection, The Academic Professional Staff Trade Union ( APSA) has asked Pretorius to recuse himself from the inquiry.
However, Chief of the Inquiry Zondo dismissed this and confirmed that Pretorius would continue regardless.
This did nothing to quiet the Economic Freedom Fighters. Addressing the crowd Malema told them that “this bastard doesn’t ask questions“ in reference to the advocate. He repeated the phrase a number of times referring to Pretorius and this has landed him in some serious trouble.
A section in the inquiry’s Terms of Reference clearly states that and insults or “disparaging behaviour” towards the investigative team could result in a fine or prison sentence.
“Any person who insults, disparages or insults the Chairperson – or any member of the or commission, or prejudice the inquiry or proceedings or findings of the commission – is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction of a fine, or to a period of imprisonment not exceeding six months” – Section 12 (1) of the State Capture Inquiry Terms of Reference.
No doubt Julius has landed himself in hot water this time and while he might argue freedom of speech it’s a clear violation of the commission's judicial frameworks. Only time will tell if the fearless Malema will be fined or even imprisoned.
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