7 February 2015- Johannesburg
Issued by: Khanyisile Litchfield-Tshabalala, Andile Mngxitama and Lucky Twala, Mpho Ramakatsa, (all MPs).
We are members of the EFF. We are also members of parliament deployed by the EFF. Today we take a public stance to be crusaders for the defense of the seven cardinal pillars of the EFF which has ensured that more than a million South Africans voted for the EFF. We abhor violence. We hate corruption. We stand opposed to lies and deception. We are fighters for justice and vow to oppose violence everywhere it shows its ugly head. We shall not be silent in the face of corruption, including in our own party.
The formation of EFF has been met with unprecedented support by all sections of South African society. The mission of economic freedom in our lifetime has given hope to the millions who have been betrayed by the ANC for more than 20 years. These hopes of our people for true liberation are contained in the Founding Manifesto, a document of collective labor for the complete emancipation of our people. The seven cardinal pillars of EFF remain the programmatic guide of our movement. We both helped found EFF, and some of us joined EFF for the promises and commitments in the Founding Manifesto.
Andile Mngxitama – Thug to Thug from African Noise Foundation on Vimeo.
Now we watch with utter disgust as the leadership of EFF under the guidance of both the president, Julius Malema, and the deputy president, Floyd Shivambu, engage in the destruction of this dream by betraying the seven cardinal pillars and the founding manifesto. We note that there has been a systematic erosion of organisational memory through the sidelining of those who were there at the beginning. An organisation without memory of itself is vulnerable to abuse and is open to being derailed from its original mission. EFF is in real danger of being derailed from its mission and being turned into a weapon of reaction, hooliganism and a criminal gang. We have chosen to stand up against this eventuality because we don’t want to contribute towards building a neocolonial dictatorship under the guise of building revolution. We have seen enough of these tragic developments in Africa and during the era of tin pot dictatorships in Latin America.
We also watch with shock how Julius Malema regularly ridicules Umkhonto weSizwe. This attack on a people’s army and its gallant efforts is also part of the erosion of memory so that the only memory left associated with liberation is that of Malema himself. The unwarranted attacks on MK are an insult to the thousands who left home and chose battle and offered their lives for the liberation of others. Insulting MK is insulting Chris Hani, it’s insulting the memory of Solomon Mahlangu and many others who laid down their lives for liberation. Like in all battle and struggle, there are traitors and cowards, but these cannot be the standard upon which MK is judged.
We also wish to honour the many liberation army soldiers who died in exile and their bones remain in other countries. Their bones cry for return home. Our ancestors cannot be happy that those warriors have been abandoned and forgotten. We pledge to work with others to return the bones of the fallen heroes so that they may find peace and that we too can find peace in the knowledge that they finally returned home. We also note that some soldiers of the Azanian Liberation Army (APLA) are still in jail for activities undertaken to liberate our people. We shall also join hands with others to see justice done. It’s an indictment that apartheid’s known killer commanders are released from jail but soldiers for liberation remain behind bars. It was not a criminal act to fight for liberation. We honour all those who stood up when the call for war of liberation was made, including the Azanian Liberation Army (Azanla).
South Africa is back is at the verge of breaking from the weight of corruption and incompetency, which is ironically functional to elite accumulation. Incompetency is good for our leaders but bad for the people. This state of affairs must end so that our people can realize true freedom. Leaders have too much power and if they are not kept in check they run the risk of becoming dictators. We don’t trust anyone with power, including ourselves. We need watertight checks and balances to avoid the abuse of power by those who currently don’t have it but want it for themselves under the guise of being peoples liberators. No one must surrender the right to self-govern to a leader.
We also come with heavy hearts because the EFF is under direct attack by the culture of the ANC threatening to create a mini ANC outside the ANC. We saw scenes of members being assaulted, stripped of the attire of the organisation and leaders of the EFF celebrating violence against members. We wish to state our strong disapproval of such shocking scenes in parliament. That’s not how to settle differences. But we also strongly condemn the leadership of the EFF for orchestrating attacks at the home of an EFF member and chairperson of his branch, Lufuno Gororo. We take it as sign of degenerate counterrevolutionary behaviour to intimidate the mother and family of those we disagree with. That’s not being revolutionary. That’s being thuggish and brutish.
The celebration and instigation of violence by leaders of the EFF against members who question wrong decisions within the party is a conclusive sign that Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu are turning EFF into a counterrevolutionary force that resembles “rebel” movements such as Unita of Angola, the Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone, the Lords Resistance Army of Uganda and many others. We have seen enough blood of Africans being spilt by selfish self-serving leaders who claim to be revolutionary. We remain shocked by how EFF leaders have been celebrating and encouraging violence and humiliation through public stripping of members of the party. Such acts are not of a revolutionary movement but a counterrevolutionary one meant to intimidate the whole population into submission and silence. We choose today to fight against turning EFF into a brutal force against the people.
We condemn the violence against commissar and Member of Parliament, Andile Mngxitama. We today can reveal that top leadership of the EFF is involved in assassination attempts against the life of Commissar Mngxitama. We know that at the disrupted press conference in Cape Town members of gangs were hired to stab commissar Mngxitama during the orchestrated scuffle (authorities requested that details be withheld as investigations are continuing). We furthermore note that the provincial chairperson of the Western Cape, Bernard Joseph, is on record that the attack on commissar Mngxitama was as a result of an instruction by national leadership. We note with shock that both Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu have congratulated the assailants of commissar Mngxitama in the same way they have congratulated and celebrated the attack and ridiculing of Lufuno Gogoro’s mother’s attack. A movement must protect the people and not terrorise the vulnerable. EFF must be rescued from the culture of hooliganism now taking root, where those marked by leaders are terrorised in the streets and even their own homes. Who is safe? To those who celebrate the attack on others with the leadership, what will happen the day you disagree with Julius Malema?
We also wish for the nation to know that a hit man has been sought in foreign lands to assassinate commissar Mpho Ramakatsa.
We called this conference to primarily declare our new campaign of anti-corruption within the EFF. We do this to save the soul of EFF and that’s why we call this campaign SAVE THE SOUL OF EFF. Why this campaign, many would ask? We call this campaign because of the things we have seen, the evidence before us. We launch this campaign because our leaders are at the centre of eroding the identity of EFF. We love EFF. We have no home other than EFF. But we can’t allow our movements soul to be soiled by the worst of cultures imported from the ruling party. So we decided to do something about it. We decided to go to members of the party, to explain, share and be advised, guided and led. We know the risks, but we don’t mind because we care.
What have we seen?
We have seen evidence of financial mismanagement of great proportions. We have seen massive cover-ups by deceit, lies, intimidation and assault on the truth with a force and skill rarely seen. We have seen how people like Rirhandzu Baloyi have been turned into manufacturers of lies to protect leaders. But Baloyi is not a criminal, but another victim. He is being used and destroyed. As an accountant his career is ruined, as a revolutionary his credibility destroyed. He is being reduced t o an Askari of lies.
We have seen the development of a bad culture, a culture of silence, a culture of defending leaders by all means necessary. We are the crusaders of anticorruption inside the EFF. We know all parties allow the abuse of power by leaders in SA. We stand to oppose that and set a new clean example. We ask the DA, where are your crusaders against the abuses of power inside your party? We similarly ask the ANC. Where are your men and women who stand on the side of the truth. Some will call us rebels, lizards, cockroaches and worse. We won’t be deterred because we love the EFF. We hope one day all political parties – whether they be left wing or right wing – all civil society organisations and faith organisation, when questioning, shall be celebrated and not seen as destructive and divisive. We hope this will become the norm and that this moment shall be remembered.
We set ourselves an impossible but necessary task today. Unlike COPE and others before us, we raise these issues to strengthen instead of weaken the EFF. We want our members to be able to say, in EFF our leaders and members do not defend what’s wrong. They stand up against all odds. We want to be proud of our movement as the example of internal democracy and epitome of anticorruption. We have no doubt many South Africans shall join us in this battle for an ethically driven way of doing politics. We wish for politics of honesty, truth, compassion and understanding. We have seen the destruction wrought by the politics of lies and deception. Twenty years of such politics is enough.
The fight against corruption is not just one of financial mismanagement but of the corruption of the objectives of the revolution. The relationship between the two is indivisible. A leader who steals from the poor to feed his lifestyle can’t be a revolutionary. A leader who takes money from imperialism and white monopoly capital to maintain his lifestyle is not a revolutionary leader. Such a leader is compromised. Such a leader is a servant of the paymaster and uses the struggle to enrich himself. A leader who lives beyond his means is a compromised leader. So our crusade is not just against the theft of organisational money but the corruption of the vision of the EFF, which is linked to financial mismanagement and conspicuous consumption.
We have seen lots of information that points to wrongdoing in EFF. We have been given this information by many sources and we have sought to verify it as far as possible. We have not shared this information with anyone or hostile forces. We thank those who have done so, the information we have has opened our eyes and helped us understand why certain things are happening and why some MPs are being hounded out of the party; why some leaders were campaigned against and excluded from slates that were promoted as officials at the National Peoples’ Assembly. Such leaders and MPs are a hindrance to financial mismanagement and the corruption of politics.
Corruption related to finances
VW Golf GTI
We now know that indeed the purchase of the Golf, which has been reported as purchased by EFF funds and registered in a private business is a corrupt practice. We know the company called Voorsprong is owned by 22-year-old students who are linked to the president of EFF. We know that the registered address of the company is the home address of Julius Malema. We also know that contrary to denials, Voorsprong pays Julius Malema. Is it paying him for having given them a GTI Golf bought by EFF money, we ask.
We also know that, it is not true that political parties cannot register motor vehicles in their names. We called the registration centre and were assured of this. The media accepted the dodgy explanation provided by EFF leaders as an article of faith. Now we are told the car is registered (or being registered) in the name of the EFF. What has changed since five months ago? Why couldn’t it be registered in the name of EFF then, but it can be now? Is it because the illegal registration of the property of the EFF in a private company was discovered?
It is a fact that the instruction to register the car in a private company that shares an address with the president of the EFF was given by the same president, overriding the instruction of the treasurer at the time, Leigh-Ann Mathys . It’s on record by the financial administrator of EFF, Mr Baloyi, in his own words. Malema must be asked why he did this.
We are told that the GTI is used for security and VIPs. Who are the VIPs and what do they do in the EFF? We saw VIPs landing in multiple helicopters at the wedding of Julius Malema. Were those EFF VIPs? Is a wedding not a private affair? So the GTI that belongs to the EFF was being used to benefit the president of the party in his private capacity? Is this not abuse of organisational property for personal benefit? Is this not exactly what Zuma did with state funds in building Nkandla? We don’t approve of Zuma using state resources for his private benefit, but we allow the leader of the party to do so? Why is it wrong for Zuma to abuse state resources but acceptable for Julius Malema to abuse EFF property?
Constituency funding its mechanisms (law and accounting)
We know that contrary to expected accounting practises in the uses of constituency funding, no EFF MPs except for both Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu know any details of how their constituency funding is being spent. This has opened the party funding to abuse and possible failure to meet the Auditor-General’s requirements and possibly criminally implicating all the MPs of EFF in wrongdoing. This is because all matters of funding, procurement and allocations are centralised in the hands of both the president and the deputy president. They have even taken the powers of accounting officers at the provincial legislature level. All EFF funding is controlled by the two and done so under great secrecy and intimidation. No one dare ask how money is used.
Abuse of Credit cards
Looking at the credit card expenditure of EFF used by the party president one conclusion comes to mind: he is feeding the EFF through feeding himself. He is eating on behalf of EFF. The gluttony is astounding: groceries for personal use at R10 000! Use of the credit card to buy expensive alcohol in exclusive night clubs, in particular Cubana. In the absence of transparency on how money is used and for what, the credit cards are open to abuse, and are being abused. How much is allocated to the president and by whom? Where are the minutes of the War Council meeting authorising such expenditure?
We know our leaders, in particular the president and deputy president, live beyond their means. As MPs they do not earn money that matches their lifestyles. Where does the money to throw a wedding party of about R4 million come from? The party coffers or private donors? We don’t intend to get involved in how the president leads his life, but his lifestyle has a direct bearing on the party, its morality and ideology, which is inspired by among others Thomas Sankara. It’s instructive to compare the wedding parties of the two.
Floyd Shivambu now drives a top-of-the-range Porsche. His MP salary makes such a purchase impossible. Where does he get such money from? The EFF coffers or private donors? We do not wish to even ask what a socialist leader is doing in a Porsche. We also know that Floyd Shivambu is a regular customer at Louis Vuitton. We don’t begrudge him his tastes, but must ask how it is morally permissible to buy a few items of clothing in excess of R200 000 and hide behind curtains while doing so?
These expensive lifestyles are sustained while the party pleads poverty all the time. There is no money for programmes of the party at the base, including bailing out fighters when they get arrested, but the leadership live like members of drug cartels. This is contrary to the expected revolutionary morality.
In this regard, all EFF leaders, more so the top two, must subject themselves to a voluntary lifestyle audit as a mechanism to rehabilitate themselves from the debilitating life of bling whilst trying to make a socialist revolution. We simply can’t have Louis Vuitton revolutionaries. Leaders must lead by example. Thomas Sankara showed the way and today the president of Uruguay is leading a new revolution of what is to be a people’s president. Love for money and conspicuous consumption are not part of the characteristics that define a revolutionary leader.
Political corruption or corrupting the ideals of EFF
As indicated, EFF suffers from both the corruption related to use of its finances and also the corruption of its ideals. The culmination of the corruption of the ideals of the EFF as a result of financial corruption was clearly expressed in the closing remarks of the National People’s Assembly by the president of the party. In a new and shocking turn, EFF no longer speaks about white monopoly capital but rather focuses its energies on marginal programmes that avoid harming white interests. Is it because whites have given EFF money? Both the programme for the mining sector and land were directed at black-owned or controlled areas. On land occupations, the president introduced a new concept of “unoccupied land”. Which land is that? All South African land is stolen property and therefore available for occupations. The qualification “unoccupied” only serves to direct our people to municipality land to occupy for the purposes of erecting shacks. This is not a bad thing in itself but cannot be the central focus of land occupation. Land occupation is the main campaign to change the land ownership patterns in the country, not to create more townships and squatter camps. What happened to occupying land on farms? Is it because it is white-owned land? Why is the call not focused on encouraging the Restitution Claimants who have been waiting some 20 years for their land? Is it to avoid harming white interests?
On mining the president was very clear whose mines were to be targeted for occupation and blockading. These were the mines of black people. We do not condone the exploitative practices of black mine owners, but we find it rather ironic that our struggle around mines should focus on black mine owners not the white mine owners who have benefited the most and for the longest from stealing our wealth. Is this shift as a result of money exchanging hands? Are black mining bosses refusing to make donations?
EFF is primarily here to change colonial and racist power relations. That means the focus should remain on white monopoly capital and this focus not be easily altered depending on who is funding the lifestyle of party leaders. The corruption of the ideals of EFF is no longer speculation but a reality. This corruption is based on saying one thing and then doing the other. Talking left and walking right.
Breaking the Woolworths boycott campaign
This practice of talking left and walking right was seen in how the president of the party was seen on a regular basis doing purchases at Woolworths. The EFF has taken a stand against Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people and endorsed the boycott of Woolworths. The party has come out in public to support the boycott but the President buys at Woolies! Is this a case of do as I say not as I do? The corruption of ideals rests in the politics of hypocrisy, saying one thing and doing the other. This culture has infested EFF and must be uprooted!
Deals with ANC to expel MPs
The corruption of the ideals of EFF was again demonstrated in the attempt to enter into a secret deal with the ANC to expel seven EFF MPs. The worst element of this deal is that it sought to use the Pay Back the Money campaign as a bargaining chip. EFF leaders offered peace for the state of the nation address in exchange for the ANC conceding to their demand for the expulsion of seven MPs. The leadership of EFF has no mandate to enter into such deals, such a deal is morally unacceptable and politically backward. What further deals like this can we expect or are being hatched?
Returning to ANC
We can reveal that a faction of the ANC is working closely with the top leadership of the EFF to ensure that EFF is incorporated into the ANC. However, before that happens all the leaders who are likely to oppose such a move are being expelled and purged. We know that Julius Malema was at Maputo at the same time as president Zuma earlier this year. The plan was to have a meeting with him to offer the EFF to the ANC. Malema has repeatedly denied that he was in Maputo but evidence places him there. We can now reveal who in the ANC has been working to both destabilise the EFF and try to negotiate a return to the ANC.
What explains these desperate attempts to return to the ANC is the financial corruption indicated above. The criminal case of Limpopo shall be heard this year and can go either way. To pre-empt possible jail time our leaders are offering the EFF to the ANC for protection against prosecution. We do not have proof but there are further rumours that new charges may be on the way, charges similar to those the president is out on bail for. These would be new charges about wrongdoing during the bail period. This then explains the desperation to find peace with the ANC. It has to be remembered that at the same time the anti-Zuma faction hopes that a return to the ANC would strengthen them. The pay back the money campaign is now the primary weapon of the leadership battle inside the ANC.
The pay back the money campaign has been corrupted and no longer serves as a mechanism to hold President Zuma accountable. It’s a weapon for factional battles and the settling of political scores and deal making.
EFF belongs to Julius and Floyd
A constant refrain that points to this culture of political corruption based on reducing the EFF into the property of the president and deputy president has been observed since after the election. Before the elections the talk was that “no one owns the EFF”. After the elections it turned into EFF is owned by two men. What is shocking is that the declaration of ownership has been made very publicly and boldly. Floyd made the reactionary claim at the collapsed Cape Metro Regional Peoples Assembly during a meeting. He also told an EFF MP in parliament. Julius Malema did so on at least two occasions in public: first at the “thank you” after party held in Braamfontein and also at the GP provincial assembly.
These claims of ownership are not innocent but rather explain why the two feel entitled to the property of EFF and abuse party resources at will. EFF must be returned to the people. When there was no money huge and impossible sacrifices were made by thousands of members. The EFF ran an election on the goodwill of our people, the true owners of this great movement.
Turning EFF into a party of convicted murderers
The public and persistent support for the convicted murderer Papiki Babuile by the leadership of EFF, more specifically Julius Malema, was a turning point for us. Babuile was elected as the party provincial Secretary General from his jail cell. His election was lobbied for by national leadership, including it being secured by a rigged vote. The difference in ballots cast for Babuile and the commissar who contested him is too narrow. There is no indication that Babuile was the sole leader and that no one else could do the job of leading the province.
The EFF leaders did not stop there. They continued to maintain this convicted murderer as party chief whip. A pledge was also made that EFF should pay all the money the provincial legislature shall have paid him in salaries until he exhausted the appeal process. The truth is Babuile doesn’t have leave to appeal. But even if he had, he should not have been elected into a party leadership position under such a dark cloud. The continued support given to a man convicted of murder has cast EFF in a very bad light and has shown the moral and revolutionary bankruptcy of our leaders. Fighters in North West are confronted with a terrible question each time they do their work. The people ask, do you want us to join a party run by convicted murderers in jail? The leadership of EFF is busy reducing our party into something like a Mexican drug cartel that runs things from prison. This is the corruption of the ideals of the EFF and a direct contravention of our cardinal pillar number seven.
All the problems we have with the party today significantly emanates from this matter. We spoke out publicly after the party ignored our pleas and letter. There is no defence for supporting a convicted murderer, pledging to pay his salary, and electing them into positions of leadership. We stood on a principle and were punished for it.
Having observed all this and having committed ourselves to fight to clean the EFF of bad tendencies, not through violence but persuasion and questioning, we have resolved as follows:
1. To go back to the people and share with them our ideas, fears and suggestions on how to improve and grow our party, because we believe without the people we are nothing.
2. That we shall never leave the EFF but rather contribute to its growth as a revolutionary party, which is democratic, caring and responsive to members and society at large. We have no home but EFF.
3. To support the brave high court application for an external audit by commissar Nomvume Ralala (at the Western Cape High Court). The application shall be lodged this week and we shall support it. This is because such an external audit shall help clear the dark cloud hanging over the finances of the party. We call upon all fighters to support this court application. We also call upon the leadership of EFF, more so the president, to take leadership and not oppose the application because, as he says, the “finances of the party are clean, so there is nothing to hide”.
4. We shall support an application for the nullification of the National People’s Assembly. The assembly was compromised in a fundamental way. This must be corrected. The application for this is to be lodged on Friday in the high court in Mangaung.
5. We shall support the call for the creation of a staff forum within EFF to defend the rights of employees (coordinators have already been identified). The abuse of the rights of staff of members inside the EFF is endemic.
6. We call for a lifestyle audit of party leaders.
7. We commit ourselves to honour the launch rally of the “Save the soul of the EFF rally” to be held in Mangaung this Saturday, which shall be addressed by, among others, commissar Andile Mngxitama. At the rally further national programmes shall be announced.
we thank you!