We told you so – EFF on defector's arrest

2014-02-18 11:57

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Mpumalanga is gloating after one of the four members who had defected to the ANC was arrested by the Hawks on charges of defrauding the SA Revenue Service (Sars).

Mpumalanga premier and ANC chairperson David Mabuza paraded the former EFF members in the Mbombela subregion before the media last week after their return to the ANC.

On Thursday, Sizwe Makhanya was arrested with 23 others for allegedly defrauding Sars of about R7 million on their tax returns.

Makhanya is employed as a general worker in the Mbombela local municipality.

After Mabuza had welcomed the four members, the EFF said it was a “publicity stunt” and warned that the defectors were “ill disciplined” because some of them had allegedly embezzled membership funds and money raised from the sale of the party’s signature red berets.

Said EFF provincial spokesperson Collen Sedibe: “The arrest reconfirms what we said ... that these members are a bunch of thugs who are ill disciplined to the core.

“It has been proven that their interest is on money. EFF is not a home for criminals.”

Sedibe said another defector, Vava Malandule, had brought back R450 of the money he owed the EFF and some membership forms. But he said their branches in the subregion would meet to quantify how much money the defectors had allegedly misused and then press criminal charges.

Provincial ANC secretary Lucky Ndinisa said Makhanya was innocent until proven guilty.

“Those arrested, including our comrade, will have to be treated like any other citizen of the country. They remain accused until proven otherwise. Generally, we would like to call on our people to respect the laws of the country,” Ndinisa said.

Hawks spokesperson Captain Paul Ramaloko said all those arrested were released on R5 000 bail each on Friday.

In a separate operation in September last year, the Hawks arrested 22 teachers at their workplaces in Bohlabela and Ehlanzeni for allegedly defrauding Sars – also to the tune of about R7 million.

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