Tag Archives: Economic Freedom Fighters

Ndabeni-Abrahams: Abuse of state resources claim is a 'malicious smear campaign'

Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has refuted claims that she abused state resources and interfered with the editorial independence of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

Over the weekend, a Sunday Independent report claimed Ndabeni-Abrahams used taxpayers’ money to fund her wedding anniversary celebrations in September last year.

It claimed the Minister had taken along her husband, Thato Abrahams, on a trip to the United States (US) and Switzerland without permission from President Cyril Ramaphosa.

‘No permission required from President’

The report further alleged that Ndabeni-Abrahams had allowed Mr Abrahams to “interview candidates for positions on the various boards for which she has political oversight.”

However, the Minister denied the allegations in a statement on Monday, saying they amounted to a “malicious smear campaign.”

She said, “At the outset, attention is drawn to the fact that the President is not required to approve the inclusion of a spouse for official international trips, as long as all is in line with the limits set in the Ministerial Handbook.

“That the trip coincided with the Minister’s anniversary is of no consequence as public funds were not used and/or misused for this purpose.”

Minister ‘welcomes EFF’s call for investigation’

Ndabeni-Abrahams also assured the public that Mr Abrahams has not attended any government meetings, did not drive from Switzerland to France for a “shopping spree” and did not use a Mercedes-Benz S600 during the trip.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) issued a statement based on Sunday Independent‘s report and said it would file a complaint with the Public Protector.

The Minister said she welcomed the EFF’s call for an investigation and urged anyone with evidence of impropriety on her part to present it to the relevant authorities.

She added, “The Minister is fully aware of the political malice at play, which has given shape to a well-orchestrated and sinister campaign to discredit her and deter her from fulfilling the department’s mandate, which includes sector transformation.”

Ndabeni-Abrahams lamented that the report had caused her reputational damage and urged the media to “avoid being conduits for gossip and character assassination.”

She however did not comment on Public Works Minister Patricia De Lille’s apparently erroneous assertion that ministers are required to “motivate why you must take your spouse along” for “each and every trip.”

EFF calls for state-owned bank in honour of late Richard Maponya

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has called for the establishment of a state-owned bank in memory of legendary entrepreneur Richard Maponya.

Maponya passed away in the early hours of Monday after a short illness, his family announced. He was aged 99.

In a statement EFF said such a bank would “prioritise investment in young African entrepreneurs,” something Maponya was known to be passionate about.

‘A bank that believes in African entrepreneurs’

EFF said, “In his memory, the government must establish a state-owned bank that will prioritise investment in young African entrepreneurs.

“To truly honour Maponya is to believe that African people can be enterprising, innovative and creative; that there are many like him in our country and continent, but lack the financial investment and support for their businesses.

“This is truly the key solution to dealing with the massive African unemployment – a bank that believes in them.”

The party also took a dig at the African National Congress (ANC) government, accusing it of “inaugurating” kleptocracy that is the opposite of Maponya’s integrity.

‘Businessman of integrity’

EFF said, “Long before South Africa had a black government, he was already a brilliant property developer.

“This makes him not only formidable, but also a businessman of integrity, something the conditions of kleptocracy inaugurated by the ANC government make impossible.”

Despite training as a teacher, Maponya ventured into entrepreneurship and started off with a number of grocery stores in Soweto in the 1950s.

He founded the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NAFCOC) in 1964 to promote the interests of black businesses at the height of apartheid.

Over a span of 50 years, his business empire expanded beyond retail into property development. The iconic Maponya Mall in Soweto is often touted as his signature entrepreneurial achievement.

The late entrepreneur’s family appealed for privacy during this period and said funeral arrangements will be revealed in due course.

2019 was undisputedly the year of EFF – Malema in end-year message

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has said 2019 was undisputedly the year of the EFF.

Malema talked up his party’s successes this year in an end-year message to South Africans posted on YouTube on Tuesday.

He said, “Remember, this movement of our people, the last hope of the poor masses of our people in South Africa and Africa in general, was supposed to die and be buried in the dustbin of history in 2019.”

‘2020 the year of women and girl child’

The EFF leader added, “But we emerged victorious precisely because of your support and eternal encouragement.

“We therefore thank you because 2019 indeed, it remains undisputed, that it was the year of the EFF.”

Malema spoke against gender-based violence and called for solutions against the crisis in 2020.

“This solution must come from men. It is a problem that is created by men and it is a problem that can be resolved by men. Men should find a practical and long-lasting solution against women and child abuse in 2020. Let 2020 be the year of the woman and the girl child,” he said.

‘Stand against privatisation’

Malema added that 2020 should also be the year of the “unity of the oppressed.”

He said, “In solidarity, we should stand against privatisation, against unemployment, against landlessness.

“We must ensure that we fight against the capture of our state by white monopoly capital. South Africa’s only hope lies in the unity of the Left and the oppressed masses of our people.”

Malema also cautioned South Africans to be careful on the roads during this festive season and to be responsible with their finances.

He further expressed solidarity with the people of the Western Sahara, Venezuela and Cuba, amongst others.

“We are with you, the oppressed masses of the world, particularly you, the people of Cuba. We are with you against the imperialist forces who have imposed economic embargo on you to try to undermine the socialist revolution in Cuba,” he said.

To watch the full video on YouTube, click here.

Ntsiki Mazwai: If Malema was black-conscious, he wouldn't wear Gucci

Poet and musical artist Ntsiki Mazwai has taken a swipe at Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema, accusing him of not being “black-conscious.”

In a video on Twitter on Friday, Mazwai said Malema wouldn’t wear Gucci and Louis Vuitton clothes if he was an adherent of the Black Consciousness movement associated with the late anti-apartheid leader Steve Biko.

She said, “Julius Malema is not woke. He’s not black-conscious. He is definitely a bully, he’s a man who wields a lot of power, and he’s thriving in our communities because he’s the type of man that Christianity has created.”

‘Not what Biko stood for’

Mazwai said if the EFF leader was black conscious, his party wouldn’t have expelled former leaders such as Andile Mngxitama, who is now leader of the Black First Land First movement.

She added, “He wouldn’t be adorned in Gucci and Louis Vuitton because that’s not what Black Consciousness is, it’s not what Biko stood for, it’s not what [Pan-Africanist Congress leader Robert) Sobukwe stood for.

“So you can stand up for your leader as a leader, but when I say I’m more black-conscious than Julius Malema, you can’t argue that.

“Julius Malema is more about securing the bag. He’s not about liberating anybody else. If he was, he would be investing in things that uplift the Black community, [but] he’s not. He’s investing in German cars, he’s investing in living in expensive houses and wearing expensive clothes.”

On Julius Malema’s wife Mantwa

Mazwai also claimed Malema’s wife, Mantwa Matlala-Malema, isn’t the “black-consciousness” model woman.

She said, “If he was black-conscious, you would even see the type of woman he has. He would have a very strong-willed, natural woman next to him.

“And I’m not dissing his wife or anything; I think she’s a lovely lady, but I don’t think that she’s the Black Consciousness model.”

Malema has not yet reacted to Mazwai’s broadside. However, the two have had ru-ins on social media in the past.

In 2017, Malema hit back at Mazwai’s similar claims. He tweeted, “I don’t need an endorsement of any failed poet to succeed. Politics is my game and I know it. At least I’m good at what I’m doing unlike you.”

In another tweet, he added, “Tweeting about Juju all the time and not about your work or profession, as if Julius is your job description. I don’t need you or [your] friends.”

EFF to SA: Avoid 'capitalist, opulent performance of riches' this Christmas

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has wished South Africans a “revolutionary” merry Christmas.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the party also called on citizens to shun “opulent performance of riches” this festive season.

It evoked the symbolism of Jesus Christ being born in “a stable, on a manger, to stranded migrant parents on transit to partake in a tax census.”

‘The poor and landless’

EFF said, “Under these conditions, the birth of the Messiah immediately identifies with the poor and landless who are without access to healthcare, shelter, food, water and other basic needs.

“It is the duty of revolutionaries to mobilise this progressive reading of this symbolism against the capitalist, consumerist, egotistical, selfish, opulent performance of riches that has become the order of the day during festive seasons.”

The party said remembering Jesus Christ “is to remember the poor, the inequalities and injustices of the capitalist order of things.”

It added that no one must go without food or shelter and urged South Africans to have a “revolutionary spirit of selflessness and generosity.”

Bethlehem ‘an occupied territory’

The EFF added, “Finally, let us remember that Bethlehem, the historic city of Jesus’ birth, is an occupied territory by the modern apartheid state of Israel.”

It reiterated Palestine’s call for the international community to isolate Israel through boycotts and sanctions until Palestine is free.

Meanwhile, EFF leader Julius Malema revealed in a question-and-answer session with his Instagram followers on Sunday that he will spend Christmas at his late grandmother’s house in Seshego, Limpopo.

He said he will also host a community thanksgiving event in the same area on Boxing Day.

Malema held a similar event in 2018 and donated a tractor to the community for farming.

However, amaBhungane reported in September that Afrirent, a company that won a R1billion fleet contract with the City of Johannesburg, allegedly paid for the tractor.

Afrirent denied the allegation, while Malema has consistently dismissed amaBhungane‘s reports as the work of “Stratcom.”

'I don't hate Zuma' – Malema in late-night Q&A with Instagram followers

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has said he does not hate former President Jacob Zuma.

Malema made the comment in a late-night question-and-answer session with his followers via Instagram stories on Sunday.

When a follower asked him why he “hates” former President Jacob Zuma, he replied, “I don’t hate Zuma even though he did horrible things to me after I supported him.”

Winnie Mandela ‘favourite African leader’

Malema also touted the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela as his “favourite African leader of all time.”

One follower asked him, “When are we removing Cyril?” The EFF leader replied, “It’s in your hands guys. Don’t abdicate your responsibility.”

Another one asked him when he would return to the ANC and he replied, “Not even in my next life.”

“How did you accumulate wealth at your age? You know we watch the news,” a follower asked. Malema responded, “Don’t believe everything.”

Relationship with Floyd Shivambu

Malema also compared his relationship with his deputy Floyd Shivambu with that of former African National Congress (ANC) leaders OR Tambo and Nelson Mandela.

A fan asked him to describe the relationship and why “it is so strong.” Malema simply replied, “OR Tambo and Nelson Mandela.”

He said he would have been a “commercial farmer of note” had he not been in politics and that his aspiration in life is to “inspire confidence in an African child.”

The EFF leader said his plans for 2020 are to grow the EFF while those for the new decade are to pursue African unity.

The wide-ranging question-and-answer session also ventured to the less public aspects of Malema’s life.

For instance, he said water is his favourite drink and that he believes in God “through his son Jesus Christ.” He also doesn’t like TV and therefore doesn’t have a favourite TV show.

Malema said the “encouraging words you say to your kids” are “work hard and love school.” He added that he will be spending Christmas at his late grandmother’s house in Seshego, Limpopo.

EFF to SAns: Boycott eNCA for its 'racist treatment of African journalists'

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has called on South Africans to boycott TV news channel eNCA for its “racist treatment of African journalists.”

In a statement on Thursday, the party cited a tweet by Kanthan Pillay, a senior manager at eNCA, in which he wrote, “Rats swimming towards a sinking ship. #EarlyXmasGift.”

Pillay posted the tweet on Tuesday this week, the same day political reporter Samkele Maseko announced his sudden departure from eNCA. Pillay has since deactivated his Twitter account.

‘No one must call an African child a rat’

EFF believes the tweet was directed at Maseko. It said, “South Africans must unite in totality boycotting eNCA, both from watching it and attending to its news requests and events.

“No one must call an African child a rat in our country and it just becomes business as usual.”

Image credit: Screenshot from Twitter/Samkele Maseko

EFF also claimed that another eNCA journalist, Khayelihle Khumalo, was suspended for tweeting about its 2nd National People’s Assembly (NPA) from his personal Twitter profile.

“The EFF condemns these actions as a sign of total deterioration of leadership, principles and ethics within the eNCA. In fact, when it comes to the EFF, the institution has become personal,” the party said.

‘Attempt to silence EFF’

EFF also claimed eNCA‘s decision to withdraw its coverage of the NPA, which it took in protest at EFF’s “ban” on Daily Maverick and amaBhungane, was an attempt to silence it.

It also criticised the South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) for its silence on the controversy.

EFF said, “Had it been a white journalist who was treated the same way Samkele Maseko and Khayelihle Khumalo testified, SANEF would be vocal and even calling on investigations.

“Their silence must be read as being complicit with racism and total disregard of journalistic ethics when it comes to African people.”

Censorship claims

The controversy started when Maseko announced his abrupt exit from eNCA on Tuesday this week, saying he couldn’t serve the usual 30-day notice after his resignation “as per their request.”

However, in a series of tweets on Wednesday in response to Pillay’s “rats” tweet, Maseko claimed Pillay had thrown him out of eNCA building “like a dog” and had censored “political talk.”

He wrote, “Do you want me to speak about how you instructed that @MYANC MP Bongani Bongo be censored by removing all the allegations he made at Minister Pravin Gordhan?

“What happened to a simple journalism principle of two sides to a story? Getting both parties to answer for themselves?”

Maseko added, “Do want me to speak about how you threw me out of the @eNCA building like a dog who had stolen something?

“How you came to my desk and said I should pack my [stuff] and follow you to HR? You are heartless and unethical. Denying some[one] a chance to serve a notice period.”

eNCA and Pillay have not yet commented on the matter. Pillay is the founder and a leader of the Capitalist Party of South Africa (ZACP), also known as the Purple Cow.

UPDATE: SANEF has since issued a statement expressing concern at “allegations of editorial interference in the newsroom at eNCA.”

It said, “SANEF will, therefore, write to eNCA management to request a meeting and to seek clarity on Mr. Pillay’s position.

“The allegations of censorship against a senior editorial executive at eNCA go against the principles that SANEF holds dear. SANEF, therefore, calls on eNCA to immediately get to the bottom of these allegations against Pillay.

“We welcome the fact that Maseko has agreed to approach Judge Kathleen Satchwell and the Media Ethics and Credibility Inquiry to discuss these issues further.”

EFF's Sixo Gcilishe: Delegates kneeling before Malema 'a sign of appreciation'

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) national communications manager Sixo Gcilishe has defended delegates who kneeled before party leader Julius Malema over the weekend.

In a Twitter thread on Monday, Gcilishe said the kneeling and bowing were “a sign of thanksgiving, appreciation.”

She wrote, “Bowing to him is a sign of thanksgiving, appreciation and because we are at [a] loss for words, we bow. Not worshipping but bow[ing] because we are grateful and appreciative.”

‘Bowing should not be condemned’

Gcilishe added, “The bowing should not be condemned because no one knows what got those Fighters to that level of appreciation and perhaps there is another deeper communication carried in their action.”

A video of the incident, which happened just after Malema finished his lengthy political report at the party’s 2nd National People’s Assembly on Saturday, sparked debate on social media.

Some commentators felt it showed that the EFF is a “cult,” something Malema strongly disputed in a media briefing.

He also addressed the NPA and castigated those who knelt before him, insisting that they should never “personalise the revolution.”

‘Don’t kneel before me’

He said, “Like those people who came here singing and kneeling down here in front of me and officials and then the papers write that Malema is a cult, people are kneeling before him as if I asked you to kneel before me.

“I never asked you to kneel before me. Don’t kneel before me, I don’t like that. The EFF is not my kitchen, I’m going to leave this organisation especially this position, one day.”

However, Gcilishe suggested that even Malema himself may not realise how much the delegates are appreciative of what the EFF has done for them.

“You don’t know what the EFF has done for us. And frankly the EFF and its leadership does not seem to be aware either,” she wrote.

As an example, she said the EFF paid for her medical bills when she suffered a stroke in August this year.

Gcilishe said, “Guard against speaking on matters you know nothing about. And stop trying to control people and their feelings and how they choose to express themselves.”

SANEF cries foul over claims EFF has barred certain journalists from NPA

The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) has slammed the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) for allegedly barring certain journalists from the party’s 2nd National People’s Assembly (NPA).

The NPA kicks off on Friday at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg, Gauteng. It is expected to elect EFF’s new leadership for the next five years as well as discuss policies.

In a statement on Friday, SANEF said, “SANEF has learnt that the EFF has denied access to journalists from Daily Maverick, Scorpio, amaBhungane, Rapport and Caxton publications, among several media outlets.”

‘Decision to bar is unconstitutional’

SANEF called on the EFF “to include a diversity of journalists” at the NPA, adding that the alleged decision to bar certain journalists was “unconstitutional.”

It added, “The EFF’s ban of certain publications is in effect diminishing citizens right to receive information to make informed decisions about politics – including their view of the EFF.

“The ban was imposed by the EFF to punish specific media organisations for reporting on their alleged corruption and theft i.e. journalists are being excluded for doing their job.

“The EFFs actions signal a warning to other media houses not to report critically and without fear or favour on wrongdoing. This ban is thus an act of intimidation.”

‘Uphold your oath of office’

SANEF called on EFF leader Julius Malema to uphold his oath of office as a member of Parliament and allow the journalists access.

It said, “If this decision to exclude certain media organisations is not reversed, we call on MPs to sanction Mr Malema.

“Finally, SANEF is not convinced by the EFF’s argument that the reason it excluded some journalists is due to lack of space at Nasrec.”

At a media briefing at midday on Friday, EFF Secretary-General Godrich Gardee said the party is “fine with all media houses except for those who descend into the arena, masquerading as journalists but in actual fact are politicians.”

EFF has been especially critical of Daily Maverick, Scorpio and amaBhungane, which have published a series of reports claiming that Malema and EFF Deputy President Floyd Shivambu allegedly used money flowing from the collapsed VBS Mutual Bank to fund their lavish lifestyles.

Their reports have also claimed EFF allegedly benefitted from a company linked to a fleet tender in the City of Johannesburg.

Load shedding: EFF says Gordhan, entire Eskom board must resign

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has demanded the resignations of Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and the entire Eskom board over the load shedding crisis.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the party said the crisis is a result of Eskom’s “incompetent leadership” and Gordhan’s “interference.”

The state power utility has been implemented stage 4 load shedding for several days now. On Monday, it briefly escalated it to an unprecedented stage 6.

‘Greedy capitalist establishment’

Eskom blamed heavy rains that caused coal handling issues as well as flooding at Kriel power station. A further technical fault at Medupi power station compounded the problem.

The party said, “The EFF believes that the Eskom leadership of Jabu Mabuza and Pravin Gordhan are deliberately sabotaging Eskom so as to build a case for privatisation of electricity.

“The EFF is aware that the current Ramaphosa administration is working with the greedy capitalist establishment to undermine the power generation of Eskom so that they can later sell power stations to the capitalist establishment.”

It called for the appointment of a team of engineers and experts, “including those who have ended load shedding before,” to develop a maintenance plan for Eskom’s power stations.

‘Discontinue IPPs’

It further demanded a discontinuation of renewable energy independent power producers (IPP) agreements because “they add no significant value to South Africa’s electricity needs.”

EFF also spoke against the President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plans to unbundle Eskom into three entities – generation, transmission and distribution.

“We demand that Mr Cyril Ramaphosa must develop some courage and act against incompetence and sabotage because the people who are involved in these are doing so in his name and to benefit his private funders,” the party added.

Meanwhile, Ramaphosa cut short his visit to Egypt on Tuesday to return to South Africa to deal with the Eskom crisis.

The Presidency confirmed that he will meet with Eskom’s management team on Wednesday.

Ramaphosa came under fire for going ahead with the visit just hours after Eskom announced the escalation to stage 6 of load shedding on Monday.

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