EFF MPL quits party due to sexual harassment

2015-05-26 11:27
EFF. (File, AFP)

EFF. (File, AFP) ((Alexander Joe, AFP))

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Mbombela - An EFF member of the Mpumalanga provincial legislature has left the party, accusing its leadership of underhanded tactics and sexual harassment of women.

Ayanda Shabalala on Monday said the decision she had taken had not been an easy one, a News24 correspondent reported.

"However, decisions of principle are seldom easy. It has taken me a lot of time to rationalise the decision to leave an organisation I helped build with my own toil and sacrifice, but there comes a time in life when one must give way to something more radical, more true," she said.

She said her resignation letter had been delivered to party leader Julius Malema.

Speaking to reporters, Shabalala said last year she submitted a provincial report to Malema and Economic Freedom Fighters deputy president Floyd Shivambu, asking them to protect women against sexual harassment, but they failed to respond to it.

"As the then provincial coordinator of Mpumalanga, I made mention of the reports of the prevalence of demands for sexual favours and exploitation of women fighters in the organisation," she said.

"I requested that leadership rise up to protect women in the organisation, that women must be held with the same regard and respect that men are afforded and not to be seen as sexual objects before being recognised as independent powerful contributors to the organisation.

"To this day, I have heard of no perpetrator being brought to book about such conduct."

‘Party full of lies’

She could no longer remain in a party full of lies and accused EFF secretary general Godrich Gardee of making financial demands from their coffers in the legislature or face being recalled.

"When it comes to receiving instructions from him, it is more demoralising because the tone is always such that 'The organisation is doing you a favour'," Shabalala said.

"Yes, MPLs and MPs want to work for EFF, but would you want your most benefiting workforce be of demoralised people because of the treatment they receive from the secretary general?

"In my case, the EFF can keep its seat in the legislature, and are at liberty to give it someone more inclined to take verbal abuse and harassment, just because you are deployed by the party."

Shabalala said she was not intending to join any other party.

"I’m a qualified IT technician; I have such a company. I joined the EFF because it was talking about issues that [spoke to] my heart," she said.

Disingenuous, Demagogic

"The disingenuous, demagogic, megalomaniac character embodied by Julius Malema, Floyd Shivambu, [national spokesperson] Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and Godrich Gardee and anyone they each and collectively surrounds themselves with – in this province that being Collen Sedibe and Alfred Skhosana, have turned many in the EFF to 'yes' people."

Old men and women of "great intellectual capacity had been reduced to "stooges" who took commands from Malema or Gardee just so they could remain in favour. If a person dared to question anything, they would be met with a "barrage of harsh and condescending words".

"You will be viciously dealt with, fast. I've often watched this happen in front of me countless times, and often affirmed, this shall not happen to me," said Shabalala.

The News24 correspondent sought comment from the EFF's leadership, who are in Mpumalanga this week. They were not immediately available for comment as their phones were switched off.

Read more on:    eff  |  julius malema  |  mbombela  |  politics

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