EFF claims Mabuza defector took beret money

2014-02-11 13:39

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The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Mpumalanga has labelled Premier David Mabuza’s media conference to welcome back defectors from the party a “publicity stunt” – and said it would lay charges against these members for alleged embezzlement.

Mabuza – who is also the provincial ANC chairperson – paraded four EFF members from the Mbombela subregion in Nelspruit this morning.

They are Vava Malandule, Mduduzi Mabuza, Muzi Mkhoma and Sizwe Makhanya.

The ANC had previously lost senior members to the EFF. Now, four EFF members have returned to the ANC.

Having moved from ANC to UDM and back again, party veteran joins EFF

Provincial EFF spokesperson Collen Sedibe said: “This is a publicity stunt and it does not make any statement. These are ill-disciplined members who embezzled membership funds and money made from the sale of berets.”

“They’re an ill-disciplined and controversial to the core. We’ll be laying criminal charges against them,” Sedibe said.

He said Malandule owed R3 500 in membership fees of 350 members, while another defector an undisclosed amount made from the party’s signature red berets.

But Malandule denied they had embezzled EFF funds.

“I only have R440 of EFF membership funds in my pocket and they can come and get it any time. They forget that some members were enlisted free of charge because they were rushing things,” he said.

Mabuza said if the EFF laid criminal charges against the defectors, the party would “cross the bridge when we reach there”.

He said it was not surprising to have EFF members coming back to the ANC.

“The EFF is the flesh of the ANC, so they left because this could have been a clash of brothers. We accept that the [EFF members] were pushed by certain issues from the ANC and were caught up in squabbles. This defection confirms one thing ... that in life there are problems wherever you are and the best solution is to find mechanism to deal with them,” Mabuza said.

As to why they had left the ANC, Malandule said it was because of infighting. But when they joined the EFF, they found the infighting was worse.

“There’s no change in EFF, we’re still fighting. As products of the ANC, we decided to sit down with ANC leadership to rebuild the people’s movement. EFF was a waste of time.”

Mabuza, without mentioning the EFF by name, said certain political parties had intentions to destabilise the ANC through service-delivery protests.

“There’s a campaign to make people revolt, protest and burn public properties so that a picture is portrayed that South Africa is unstable and cannot hold free and fair elections. We don’t want our people to be misled,” Mabuza said.

Read: Malema on tyre scandal: ‘They might have been cleaning the streets’

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