/ 12 February 2015

Malema loyalists attack Andile Mngxitama at press briefing

An EFF faction loyal to leader Julius Malema vowed to "defend the true EFF"
An EFF faction loyal to leader Julius Malema vowed to "defend the true EFF"

What started off as a press briefing by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party commissar for land Andile Mngxitama – accompanied by EFF MP Khanyisile Litchfield-Tshabalala – descended into complete chaos and pandemonium as a faction of the EFF loyal to Julius Malema physically attacked Mngxitama.

Watch the attack here:

The faction had attended the briefing with the intention of stopping it, and were seated ahead of the briefing, refusing to leave when asked to.

EFF provincial chairperson in the Western Cape, Bernard Joseph, stood up at the outset, as Mngxitama moved to speak, and accused Mngxitama of speaking without a mandate. Joseph also vowed to “defend the true EFF”.

The two factions then had a sing-off, chanting at each other, which lead to the Malema faction cornering Mngxitama, pouncing on him, and pushing and shoving him.

Mngxitama was reportedly shielded by the women at the briefing, including those in support of Malema.

He fled the Southern Sun hotel in Cape Town – where the briefing was being held – in a car, with the Malema faction in hot pursuit.

It remains unclear what he wanted to communicate in the press briefing, but as he fled, he vowed to reconvene the briefing later on Thursday, adding that “this is [the] thuggish behaviour that has become part of the EFF”.

The crowd continued to pursue him, singing Malema’s praises. 

Meanwhile, EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi tweeted that his party had not organised the press briefing. – Additional reporting by staff reporter