JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa’s radical leftist leader Julius Malema on Tuesday filed a counter criminal complaint against Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, accusing him of money laundering, corruption, racketeering and fraud.
Gordhan on Monday filed a defamation complaint against the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party leader Malema and his deputy Floyd Shivambu after they accused him and his daughter of corruption.
Gordhan denies any wrongdoing by him or his daughter.
The case between Gordhan and Malema is likely to sharpen friction between the parties months before a national election, where the smaller EFF is trying to use an anti-corruption platform to challenge key figures in the ruling African National Congress party.
Malema said the EFF had given police evidence on the alleged criminal activities, including details of a bank account in Canada where Gordhan allegedly asked individuals to deposit money.
“I said to the police, I have got a list of people who were told to put the money into the account,” Malema told EFF supporters outside a Pretoria police station.
“When we attack Pravin, we are launching an attack against corruption.”
Gordhan, a former finance minister respected by international investors for standing up to former president Jacob Zuma, has denied having a bank account in Canada.
“It is their democratic right to pursue whatever path they wish to pursue. That it is malicious and unsubstantial there is no doubt, but let’s see how it plays itself out,” Gordhan told reporters in Cape Town when asked about EFF’s complaint.
Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo in Johannesburg and Wendell Roelf in Cape Town; Editing by James Macharia, Richard Balmforth