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Gordhan: 'Malema and Shivambu’s comments unacceptable, promote hatred'

The minister was commenting after opening criminal cases against EFF leaders Julius Malema and his deputy Floyd Shivambu.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan arrives at the Brooklyn Police Station in Pretoria on 26 November 2018 to lay criminal complaints against EFF leader Julius Malema. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

PRETORIA – Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has accused Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leaders of promoting hatred and warned that their continued attacks may result in people being harmed or murdered.

The minister was commenting after opening criminal cases against EFF leaders Julius Malema and his deputy Floyd Shivambu.

The EFF has responded saying it will on Tuesday open cases of fraud and corruption against Gordhan.

Minister Gordhan referred to Malema’s comments outside the Zondo commission that there could be casualties.

“If you go on attacking people the way you were attacking them, the next logical point is are we facing some kind of physical harm or even elimination? So, you’re promoting hatred.”

He says Malema and Shivambu’s comments are unacceptable.

“You can’t go around, for example, condemning the Zondo commission. You can’t call an evidence leader, an advocate at the Zondo commission by the name 'B'.

“You can’t call us dogs and at the same time you can’t spread wrong rumours about family, which are absolute lies.”

The EFF will be at the Brooklyn Police Station today.

WATCH: Gordhan lays criminal complaint against Malema

Gordhan said the personal attacks on him and the Zondo inquiry by the EFF leaders are part of a campaign to distract the commission from its important work.

The minister said there is no coincidence that Malema and Shivambu have ratcheted up the rhetoric, saying it’s a ploy to divert attention away from serious allegations of corruption.

“There’s a direct relationship between the disruptive activities, the personal attacks and continuing and masking corrupt activities that are actually going on… and blaming the whole world for everything whereas all the fingers are pointing in a particular direction.”

The Daily Maverick reported last week that funds from VBS Mutual Bank made their way into accounts which ultimately benefitted the two party leaders.

The EFF has now responded and will be heading to the Brooklyn police station on Tuesday to lay complaints of fraud and corruption against the minister.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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