/ 2 March 2024

Malema lashes out at Oppenheimer donation to Rise Mzansi

Gettyimages 1996856984 594x594
Julius Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), during the party's manifesto launch in Durban, South Africa, on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024. Photo: Leon Sadiki/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema has directed his latest verbal attack against the Oppenheimer family, accusing them of attempting to influence elections via donations to political parties.

This comes in response to Rebecca Oppenheimer’s donation of R15 million to the recently established Rise Mzansi political party, which is led by former editor, Songezo Zibi.

“There is a family called the Oppenheimer family. That Oppenheimer family is paying millions to buy South Africa,” Malema said. 

“How can you give Rise Mzansi so many millions even when they don’t have a track record of being a legitimate political party? Let us unite black people to fight against the Oppenheimer money. Let us not be bought by the Oppenheimers.”

He made the comments at the EFF Gauteng manifesto launch on Saturday, where he also said it was time to vote out parties that were funded by the family, and other rich South African families. 

“[On election day of] 29 May, we are going to take our country from the Oppenheimers. We are going to take our country from the Ruperts,” Malema said.

Last month, Rise Mzansi disclosed that it had received close to R17 million in funding since its registration, with a significant portion attributed to Rebecca Oppenheimer, who contributed R15 million.

Rebecca Oppenheimer is one of the heirs to the family mining fortune who, together with her siblings and mother, has been a major player in the funding of opposition parties.

The Oppenheimers have previously also donated to the Democratic Alliance and ActionSA.  

According to the Electoral Commission of South Africa’s third quarter disclosure report for the financial year 2023/24, this figure is significantly higher than the amounts declared by other established parties for the same period. ActionSA, received the second-highest amount in this quarter, of close to R14 million.

The other five parties who disclosed their funding are:

ANC – R10 000 000

Build One South Africa – R8 500 000

Patriotic Alliance – R7 096 380

DA – R2 608 009.05

Inkatha Freedom Party- R191 040.77

The EFF did not disclose any funding. 

Malema said that the EFF had observed that the political power that was transferred to the black majority through inclusive elections in 1994 was never transformed into economic freedom, as the majority of Africans remained on the margins of society as unemployed, under-employed or discriminated against while employed.

He added that this continued “while those with economic, social and political power since the colonial period, continued to enjoy economic, social and professional privileges”. 

He said that this was visible in municipalities that were run by the DA, where people continue to struggle with service delivery.

Malema called on EFF members to vote the DA out for failing to provide service delivery to people in the City of Tshwane.

“Comrades, if you go to Mamelodi, if you go to Atteridgeville, if you go to Soshanguve, if you go to Hammanskraal, if you go to Mabopane, or Ga-Rankuwa, our people are neglected by the government of the DA,” he said. 

He added: “Tshwane today is worse because of the DA, and every day the EFF is fighting the corruption of the DA.”