A disillusioned unit of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MPs have launched a “Save the Soul of the EFF” campaign, amidst their suspensions from the party, violence, claims of assassination attempts and one MP waving a gun publically in “self defence”.
Four EFF MPs led by Andile Mngxitama are on a mission to save the EFF from “Louis Vuitton revolutionaries” in the form of party leader Julius Malema and his deputy Floyd Shivambu, who they accused of corruption, financial mismanagement and “turning the EFF into a mini ANC”.
While accusations were plenty, evidence and proof was thin with Malema saying the accusations are “lies” from “disillusioned” people. But one thing is clear; all is not well in the EFF.
EFF MPs Mngxitama, Mpho Ramakatsa, Khanyisile Litchfield-Tshabalala and Lucky Twala told a press conference in Johannesburg they would be approaching the courts to have the EFF’s books laid bare for an external audit, the national people’s Assembly – which elected leadership – be declared null, and to push for a lifestyle audit of the EFF leaders.
“A leader who steals from the poor to feed his lifestyle can’t be a revolutionary. A leader who takes money from imperialism and white monopoly capital to maintain his lifestyle is not a revolutionary ,” said Litchfield-Tshabalala.
The accusations against Malema and Shivumbu include:
- Malema using EFF funds to purchase a gold Golf GTI for his own benefit. “Why is it wrong for Zuma to abuse state resources but acceptable for Julius Malema to abuse EFF property?” Litchfield-Tshabalala asked.
- Both abusing constituency funding, with the four alleging that all EFF funds are controlled by the duo under “great secrecy and intimidation”.
- Their failure to contribute 10% of their salaries to the party, as required from all other MPs.
- Malema used EFF credit cards for R10 000 worth of groceries and expensive alcohol. “He is eating on behalf of the the EFF,” Litchfield- Tshabalala said.
- The two allegedly live outside of their means on money from party coffers and private donors.
- Malema was negotiating a secret deal with the ANC, working with an anti-Zuma faction of the ANC to be co-opted in the ANC. “We know that Julius Malema was [in] Maputo at the same time as President Zuma earlier this year.”
When asked for evidence to back up their claims, Mngxitama said they had “a lot of documentary evidence” but were not willing to make it public just yet.
“We do have documentary proof of all the claims … A lot of the evidence we have will be used in the court case, which will speak to having public audits,” he said.
Saving the ‘party of the people’
This week the four will support a bid in the Western Cape high court to have an external audit because “it will take Jesus Christ to come for those books to come out clean”.
While Mngxitama and his allies press on with their “Save the Soul of the EFF” campaign, there is no doubt that they will – and have already – received hardline backlash from party leaders and those loyal to them.
Mngxitama and the others say that even if they are suspended from the EFF, they will not stop their efforts to save the “party of the people”.
And this, they claim, makes them the target of assassination attempts.
“We today can reveal that top leadership of the EFF is involved in assassination attempts against the life of commissar Mngxitama,” said Litchfield-Tshabalala.
They also claim that a foreign hitman was being sought to assassinate Ramakatsa.
The basis of their accusations stems from violence at an abandoned press conference called by Mngxitama last week, where EFF members loyal to Malema disrupted the press conference, cornered Mngxitama and removed his EFF T-shirt.
He now claims that Cape Town gang members were hired by the EFF leadership to stab him.
There is no doubt that tensions are heightened in the party, so much so that Twala – an MP and former “military man” waved a gun publically as they tried to make their way through a group of protestors who gathered outside the venue of their Tuesday press conference.
Twala admitted that he pulled out a firearm to “protect” his colleagues. “We didn’t want to be shot at first,” he said.
Both Malema and Shivambu denied the allegation of corruption against them, saying whoever has information should take it to the relevant authorities.
“Those four are disillusioned people who wanted to be elected in the top leadership of the EFF. They are blackmailing us. That is what they are doing. They said top leadership or nothing,” Malema said.
He denied all other accusations against him, saying the onus was on Mngxitama and the three others to provide proof.
“It is all lies. They are even contradicting themselves,” Malema said. He noted that EFF financial books would be audited and made public after being submitted to Parliament.
Shivambu denied using EFF money as a personal purse. “I am not corrupt and whoever believes so should approach the authorities,” he said. He rejected being a “Louis Vuitton revolutionary”, saying the accusations against him were “sickness because I do not have that kind of money to spend”.