EFF chairperson Dali Mpofu on Thursday fobbed off attempts to get comment from him after revelations that the brother of the party's deputy president Floyd Shivambu received R16m in the VBS Mutual Bank debacle. The Daily Maverick has since reported that some of that money found its way into Shivambu's and the party's coffers.
Mpofu, whose clients as an advocate include controversial figures such as suspended South African Revenue Service commissioner Tom Moyane, refused to acknowledge to eNCA business reporter Dimakatso Thugwana that the party needs to consider the links between one of its senior leaders and the looting at VBS.
Thugwana, who repeatedly came at Mpofu, opened her questioning of the EFF heavyweight by asking him whether the party had received any money from VBS. But Mpofu wasn't playing ball.
"No, anyone who has any information to that effect must come to us. We will obviously investigate whatever any allegations that are made, but we can't respond to allegations made in the air.
"Unfortunately I cannot comment too much about the process of the report, because I actually participated there, I represented an unrelated client. Maybe, unlike other citizens, I know about the weaknesses of that process which I wouldn't like to share now.
"But, uhm, as far as the other concerns about somebody's brother and so on, we're not answerable for brothers and sisters. So we are, you know, not a burial society."
'There's no way the EFF received money from VBS'
Thugwana, however, wanted answers. She pushed Mpofu and asked about a report by the Daily Maverick that Shivambu and the EFF scored big, thanks to VBS. Mpofu laughed it off.
"So I must respond to the Daily Maverick now? No, we don't respond to the Daily Maverick. The Daily Maverick or you or anyone else who has information, our offices are in Braamfontein in De Korte Street. You can bring that information there then we can look into it."
"But can Mpofu confidently say that the party did not receive any VBS money?" Thugwana asked.
"Yes, I can say that, because we have no information to the contrary. The sources of money for the EFF, it's membership-based as well as the stipend we receive from the IEC (Independent Electoral Commission) and Parliament. Any other instance [in which] there are certain donations that we receive, those will be declared. For example, during election time we were approached by certain companies that are donating to all political parties. We are considering that. Previously we didn't take that kind of money. That's the money I can account for, that's the money I know. There's no way the EFF received money from VBS."
"Where is Shivambu and has the EFF spoken to him about the matter? Will it investigate?" Thugwana pressed.
"The whereabouts of my deputy president! He is probably in Parliament and that's where he should be, ja.
EFF conference scheduled for next week
"Have I had a discussion with him about what? No, why must...I received R20 from my sister yesterday, the EFF has not had a discussion about it. Why must we have a discussion about what family does?"
"But surely," the feisty Thugwana protested, "the EFF must at least consider the report that he got R10m?"
"He received R10m from his brother? And the EFF must put this on its agenda? Floyd Shivambu received R10m from his brother, or 10c? Really," said a dismissive Mpofu.
He signed off by explaining why the alleged Shivambu millions have nothing to do with the EFF.
"OK, let me give you an example, I'm against rape. So – and we've taken a stance against rape – so if one of the brothers of a member of the EFF rapes someone what must we do? Must we call a meeting?"
The EFF has called a press conference for next week. On Wednesday evening it released a statement saying anyone found to have been involved in the VBS fraud must be prosecuted, but did not refer to Shivambu's link to the bank's looting. The National Prosecuting Authority and the Hawks have since confirmed they are investigating the VBS collapse.