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Shoo-in Veronica Mente will be a ‘full-time’ EFF chair

 

 

The newly elected leadership of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) will be available full-time for the party’s activities for the duration of their tenure.

This was revealed by party leader Julius Malema on Sunday, while he was fielding questions from the media regarding the party’s top six leadership. The leadership was elected by the party’s 4 000-strong delegates at its National People’s Assembly on Saturday.

“There won’t be an excuse for not doing work on the basis of other responsibilities outside what the organisation demands of all of us,” Malema said.

Malema and his deputy, Floyd Shivambu, both returned to their positions, while EFF MPs Marshall Dlamini and Veronica Mente were elected as secretary general and national chairperson respectively. Senior party member Poppy Mailola was elected as deputy secretary general, while Omphile Maotwe was elected as treasurer general.

Mente was a shoe-in to take over from the previous chairperson, Dali Mpofu. The party’s organisational report — released on Saturday — notes that Mpofu was recused from two of his responsibilities as the chairperson because of his “hectic schedule” as an advocate.

According to the report, Mpofu was deployed by the party to the Eastern Cape for the “purpose of the elections” earlier this year – but had to be replaced by Shivambu because of the hectic workload.

In 2015, Mpofu established the party’s first National Disciplinary Committee, where he led the expulsion of four “rebels” of the party. He subsequently was recused from the position.

Mente said the delegates at the conference opted to elect her into the position because of her availability.

“I am on the ground full time. I have ran elections of the EFF; being the national spokesperson for 2016 and 2019,” she said.

Mpofu has recently garnered far more attention for his involvement in a number of high-profile court matters than he has for his work as national chairperson.

In the past year, Mpofu has represented erstwhile North West premier Supra Mahumapelo in his effort to be reinstated as ANC provincial chair. He has also represented former South African Revenue Service commissioner Tom Moyane and on-again-off-again Old Mutual chief executive Peter Moyo in their legal battles.

Mpofu was nominated from the floor to contest Shivambu for the position of deputy president. He accepted the nomination, but did not receive the necessary 30% backing from delegates to cross the threshold.

In the run-up to Saturday’s nominations, a slate backing Mpofu had been touted on social media. But almost all those included in this slate, barring Mente, did not garner enough support from delegates to allow them to contest.

Mpofu was also nominated to return to his position as EFF national chairperson. He, however, declined. This decision was met with applause from delegates.

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Thando Maeko
Thando Maeko is an Adamela Trust business reporter at the Mail & Guardian
Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit is a general news reporter at the Mail & Guardian. She covers topics relating to labour, corruption and the law.

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