Time may be up for EFF MP Andile Mngxitama

2015-02-15 15:00

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Andile Mngxitama’s days in the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are numbered, senior party sources say.

City Press has learnt that the EFF’s senior leaders resolved to take Mngxitama through a disciplinary process with a charge of bringing the party into disrepute.

The EFF’s central command team met in Cape Town on Friday afternoon and, among other things, discussed Mngxitama’s future in the party. But party leadership was mum about the decisions made and no official statement was forthcoming by Saturday afternoon.

Sources said the party had resolved that he had to be removed, but he would not be expelled outright.

Mngxitama this week claimed he had discovered that the EFF leadership had asked for help from the ANC to remove him and six other MPs from Parliament.

EFF national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi refused to comment yesterday, saying he was at a funeral.

EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee also declined to comment, saying he had not attended the meeting.

Julius Malema said he would not respond to issues around yesterday’s meeting. “The organisation will announce when it is ready.”

On Thursday, hours before the state of the nation speech, Mngxitama tried to host a press conference at a hotel in Cape Town, but it was interrupted by EFF supporters loyal to Malema.

A scuffle broke out between Mngxitama and Malema’s supporters, with the latter stripping Mngxitama of the EFF T-shirt he was wearing. They also chased him out of the hotel, creating chaos for traffic in the vicinity.

Mngxitama is among a group of EFF members who fell out of favour with Malema after the party’s national conference in December.

He has referred to EFF leaders as thugs and was highly critical of the party’s deployment of Papiki Babuile as EFF chief whip in the North West legislature.

On Friday, Malema told journalists the central command team would make “serious decisions” about Mngxitama, because they could not tolerate ill-discipline.

Malema challenged Mngxitama to go to the police with the information he had.

Mngxitama was unfazed.

He told City Press on Friday he had no intention of leaving the EFF, adding he was merely joining a “growing number of EFF members who are against corruption inside and outside the party”.

“I am going to be a very vocal activist in uprooting the culture of the ANC in the EFF, which is about intolerance, suppression of differing voices, sheepish following of the leader and defending wrong things, which are committed by the leadership,” he said.

“I am going nowhere. I am staying in the EFF, but we are going to cleanse the EFF of the ANC. We have to get rid of the ANC thinking, the ANC way of doing things.”

Mngxitama, who boycotted Thursday’s state of the nation address alongside EFF MPs Khanyisile Litchfield-Tshabalala and Lucky Twala, said he planned to return to Parliament to continue his work as an MP.

“I am not the one who is begging the ANC to take them back; I am not the one who is having secret deals with the ANC. It’s very ironic that I get accused of working with the ANC,” he said.

“They are the ones who are doing the work of an anti-Zuma faction of the ANC.”

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