Malema denies 'drama', gunshots at EFF provincial conference

A factional battle reportedly erupted after EFF members accused Malema of sidelining their preferred candidate, Abednego Mathole. (David Harrison/M&G)

A factional battle reportedly erupted after EFF members accused Malema of sidelining their preferred candidate, Abednego Mathole. (David Harrison/M&G)

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema has laughed off claims that he was chased from the party’s provincial conference in Midvaal, in Gauteng, where his bodyguards were alleged to have fired live rounds at a group of EFF dissenting supporters.

The EFF has not directly responded to claims that bullets were fired from Malema’s car on Saturday night. The gunshots allegedly came after a faction of the EFF in Gauteng pelted Malema’s car with stones after a dispute arose around the election of the party’s provincial leaders.

But the EFF leader has scoffed at allegations he was attacked and has instead claimed that the party’s provincial conferences concluded smoothly.

“The mob is retweeting every story that says Malema was attacked, wishing it was true. The truth is EFF had three successful elective provincial conferences in GP [Gauteng], NW [North West], MP [Mpumalanga] & that won’t be retweet because there was no drama & they are disappointed,” Malema said on Twitter on Monday. 

A factional battle reportedly erupted after EFF members accused Malema of sidelining their preferred candidate, Abednego Mathole, a former University of Johannesburg branch leader. On Saturday night, Mathole spoke to the Sowetan newspaper, describing how Malema had ousted his nomination for EFF Gauteng chairperson.

“He said I assaulted an SG [EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee] and that was an automatic expulsion from the party,” he told the Sowetan.

Mathole then claimed that Malema’s bodyguards had fired live rounds when a commotion broke loose after Malema disallowed him from contesting.

It isn’t the first time that the EFF leader has been connected to gunfire. In August, Malema appeared in court after he allegedly discharged an assault rifle at the EFF’s fifth anniversary celebrations at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane in the Eastern Cape.

The allegation was based on a video clip, where Malema appeared to be firing the rifle.

Ra'eesa Pather

Ra'eesa Pather

Ra’eesa Pather is a general news journalist with the Mail & Guardian’s online team. She cut her teeth at The Daily Vox in Cape Town before moving to Johannesburg and joining the M&G. She's written about memory, race and gender in columns and features, and has dabbled in photography. Read more from Ra'eesa Pather

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