EFF’s account attached after failing to pay ex-staff

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A file picture of EFF president, Julius Malema, along with his deputy, Floyd Shivambu and secretary-general Marshall Dlamini.
A file picture of EFF president, Julius Malema, along with his deputy, Floyd Shivambu and secretary-general Marshall Dlamini.
Chanté Schatz, News24

The EFF’s main bank account has been attached for not paying the salaries of former Pietermaritzburg employees who were unfairly dismissed, leaving the party scrambling to pay their debts.

Brian Tawana, the EFF’s former researcher in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature; Lucky Dlamini, a former administrator; and Sanele Mpulo, a former field worker, obtained a writ of execution against the EFF after the party failed to comply with an earlier labour court ruling ordering it to compensate the applicants.

The former employees, who were dismissed by the EFF in 2015, had successfully challenged their dismissal at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). Tawana, who was the first applicant in the CCMA matter between the EFF and the dismissed employees, said they had resolved to enforce the writ of execution after all attempts to make the party’s leadership pay the salaries in terms of a court ruling had failed.

“The writ of execution was granted towards the end of 2018 but was eventually enforced on the 27th of January after the EFF leadership had completely ignored us.

“South Africa can’t afford to have party leaders who are law unto themselves,” he said.

While it is not clear how much was in the EFF’s account, which is with Standard Bank, most of the party’s expenses, including rent and loan repayments to the tune of R2 million a month, are being paid from the account.

EFF secretary-general Marshall Dlamini on Monday denied claims that the party’s bank account has been attached. “There is no such, we don’t know where the baseless rumours are coming from,” he said.

However, The Witness obtained an affidavit Dlamini had lodged with the Durban Labour Court that forms part of the EFF’s application seeking to have the writ of execution set aside. In it, Dlamini tells the court that the party would not be able to function if the writ of execution was not rescinded.

“Utilities such as water, electricity and telephone lines also need to be paid so as to ensure the proper functioning of our offices. Should these not be paid, these services will be suspended, which will not enable our offices to function.

“We further need to pay for rentals of offices equipment and office stationery. Should we not make payment of these the various suppliers will come and remove the equipment,” he said.

The labour court had ordered the EFF to pay the dismissed employees a collective R2 million, which includes legal costs. The legal blow to the EFF is the latest in a slew of court judgments against the party.

In May last year the South Gauteng High Court ordered the EFF to apologise to former Finance minister Trevor Manual after he sued the party for alleging that he was a business associate of and related to SARS commissioner Edward Kieswetter.

The court ordered the party to pay Manuel R500 000 in damages.

EFF leader Julius Malema is currently facing various criminal charges, including one of shooting live ammunition in a public area, and of violating the Riotous Assemblies Act after urging supporters to occupy vacant land.

The EFF has promised to nationalise banks, land and mines should the party come to power.

Its application for the rescission of the writ of execution will be heard in the Durban Labour Court on Monday.

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