Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leaders have moved swiftly to distance themselves from a newly formed “breakaway” party.
The party, African Federal Convention (AFCO), was launched at a media briefing in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
Its leader, Vusi Mathe, claimed he and other AFCO leaders were former EFF members. He insisted that EFF’s leadership knows him.
He claimed that they left EFF because it had “lost touch” with the masses and that AFCO already has 10,000 members.
Mathe and his fellow leaders were clad in green military-style regalia.
Among other policies, AFCO advocates for sharing of South African mineral resources among all citizens.
EFF leaders react
EFF leaders sought to downplay Mathe’s claim that AFCO is an EFF breakaway party.
EFF President Julius Malema simply replied with laughter emojis to a tweet about AFCO’s formation.
EFF Deputy President Floyd Shivambu said Mathe and other AFCO leaders were actually members of the African Transformation Movement (ATM).
The party’s Deputy Secretary General Hlengiwe Mkhalipi echoed this view and said AFCO was using EFF’s name to win attention.
She said Mathe and others were EFF councillors but were expelled from the party for allegedly misappropriating funds.
An IOL report in 2018 indicated that Mathe was among six eThekwini councillors the party had suspended for alleged misappropriation of funds.
Speaking to News24, ATM’s spokesperson Mxolisi Makhubu said the party has no record of Mathe as a member.