Weekly Xpose Team
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is preparing to intensify its anti-Gigaba campaign after South Africa’s newly appointed Finance Minister appears determined to drive forward with the African National Congress’ (ANC) radical economic transformation programme.
The EFF’s intensified campaign to discredit Gigaba will involve national, provincial as well as student leadership, and was sparked by reports that Gigaba has sought economic advisory from Professor in Economics at the University of the Witwatersrand, Christopher Malikane, who is an outspoken advocate for the nationalisation of key strategic sectors of the economy and land return without compensation. This has prompted EFF to intensify what an EFF member has described as its “Gigaba Must Fall” campaign.
A well-placed source in EFF told Weekly Xpose: “Malema will never allow Gigaba to be at the forefront of economic freedom. Shivambu, neither. They believe that economic freedom is their property alone.”
EFF leader Julius Malema, has been extremely critical of the appointment of Malusi Gigaba by President Jacob Zuma as South Africa’s new Finance Minister last month in a cabinet reshuffle which saw the removal of both Pravin Gordhan as Minister of Finance and his Deputy Mcebisi Jonas.
Shortly after the Cabinet reshuffle, Malema publically condemned Gigaba. Malema said “Malusi is corrupt to the core” and alleged that Gigaba has received financial gifts from the Gupta family, including a Cape Town home, allegations which the Finance Minister has referred to his lawyers.
The move to discredit Gigaba stems from concerns, among EFF leadership, that newly appointed Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba is expected to gain considerable support from the younger electorate if he successfully spearheads and advances a radical economic transformation programme. According to an EFF source, Malema is aware of the fact that Gigaba is an ANC leader that young voters identify with, and is concerned that and his appeal extends beyond the ANCYL and transcends party political lines. Gigaba’s popularity in key strategic provinces is another concern for the EFF, as this is likely to strengthen the support base for a Zuma-endorsed Presidential candidate at the ANC’s electoral conference in December 2017.
Malema is said to be as preoccupied with the ascent of Gigaba as with the fall of Zuma. The EFF has been at the forefront of calls for President Zuma to step down from the highest office in the land and from his position as President of the ANC, since its inception as a breakaway party in 2013.
An EFF member who was also part of the ANCYL when Malema was President said: “Gigaba’s appointment was a total shock for Malema. They are old rivals and Malema will do what he can to block Gigaba.
“Malema will not want to see the emergence of his arch-rival at the forefront of a radical economic agenda. For as long as I remember there has been rivalry and Malema is troubled that Gigaba has this big leadership position. It is political but it is at the same time very personal.”
“Internally, we are going to be pushing more on Gigaba’s Gupta connections, so that people associate him directly with corruption and not as a person who can deliver economic transformation.” the EFF member told Weekly Xpose.
Weekly Xpose was told that Malema and other EFF leaders are said to be working in tandem with Ramaphosa-aligned ANC leaders and opposition parties to undermine confidence in the new Finance Minister. “Shivambu is leading this. He is resolute that Gigaba must be removed,” the EFF member said.
This EFF campaign occurs at a time when the Finance Minister is facing some harsh opposition from markets and business. Critics aside, the new Finance Minister looks determined to deliver on the ANC’s reinvigorated call for radical economic transformation, while simultaneously building up confidence among analysts and investors, both locally and abroad.