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‘Barry White’ and ‘bullies’ — Malema takes aim at Zondo over Sisulu criticism

EFF leader Julius Malema criticised acting chief Justice Raymond Zondo for his remarks on tourism minister Lindiwe Sisulu.
EFF leader Julius Malema criticised acting chief Justice Raymond Zondo for his remarks on tourism minister Lindiwe Sisulu.

EFF leader Julius Malema has taken fresh shots at acting chief justice Raymond Zondo, while urging under-fire tourism minister Lindiwe Sisulu not to be “bullied”.

Sisulu sparked huge debate and drew widespread backlash after penning an opinion piece last week in which she took aim at the judiciary. Zondo responded to the piece on Wednesday, saying the minister had hurled insults at the entire judiciary, especially black judges, and suggested that action be taken against her.

Malema came to Sisulu’s defence, telling her not to be bullied by “anyone on the payroll of CR17".

He also said Zondo should not “tell us what to think and say”.

“If she has taken a political position, she must stand by it. Zondo might have taken Zuma to jail but will never tell us what to think and say. We are not scared of him and he must know that.”

EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu also criticised Zondo, saying his nomination as chief justice should be withdrawn over his comments.

"Zondo’s nomination as one of the candidates for chief justice must be withdrawn with immediate effect. SA must reject a political/factional CJ who sees things according to his handlers’ class prejudices and calls press conferences to respond to political opinions. He’s a disgrace!"

Their remarks come as the EFF accused Zondo of “effectively trying to outlaw political commentary” with his criticism of Sisulu.

“The only logical conclusion is that he is attempting to stifle minister Sisulu’s political commentary because it is opposed to his vested interests in assuming the office of the chief justice,” the EFF said.

It said Zondo’s criticism of Sisulu “lacked substance and purpose” and claimed she was “far better placed to assess the social and political conditions in this country as someone tasked with that responsibility”.

The party also labelled Zondo as “an attention-seeking Barry White”.

“In our view, there is no difference to what Sisulu and Barry White are doing. Sisulu is campaigning to become the president of the ANC and Barry White is campaigning to be the chief justice of the Constitutional Court.”

In her piece, titled Hi Mzansi, have we seen justice?,  Sisulu questioned black judges and said they were “mentally colonised Africans who have settled with the world view and mindset of those who have dispossessed their ancestors”.

Zondo responded by saying her remarks were an insult and should not be classed as fair criticism.

“It is very important in this country that we draw the line on conduct that is acceptable and conduct that is unacceptable.

“As I said, we as the judiciary do not say we should not be criticised, but criticism should have proper basis. Ms Sisulu has insulted us. And we as the judiciary have done [nothing] other than doing our job,” Zondo said.


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