The Sunday Times has learnt there is growing discontent over Malema’s control of money allocated for constituency work, which insiders claim is not used for its intended purpose and not accounted for.
This is the second time that questions have been raised about the EFF’s finances. In 2015 a group led by former party MPs Andile Mngxitama and Mpho Ramakatsa were expelled after they called for a probe into party finances.
This time those who are disgruntled are said to be considering lobbying for Malema’s deputy, Floyd Shivambu, to replace him when the party elects new leaders. This is only due to happen at a “people’s assembly” in 2019.
One member of the EFF’s highest decision-making body, the central command team, said provinces had no access to party funds.
“We don’t get our constituency funding … all the funds are centralised from head office,” said the team member, who asked not to be identified.
Provincial treasurers had become redundant because
they had no funds to manage, this source said, adding: “This is a serious concern that seems to divide the organisation. We can’t do any work in provinces and communities because of this.”
But Shivambu denied that there was discontent within the party over the management of
“EFF is allocated resources by parliament and the legislatures,” he said. “It is accounted for nationally. Provinces have to make submissions centrally … we can’t decentralise resources. There is never any irregularity, we have the cleanest of audits.”
Asked about the idea of him making a run for the party leadership, Shivambu said: “It is the biggest craziness I ever heard.”
Other EFF leaders told the Sunday Times there was widespread unhappiness over the party’s policy that
MPs and members of provincial legislatures must give
up to 30% of their salaries to the party while councillors had
to fork out at least 50%.
The party receives money for constituency work from the Independent Electoral Commission, thanks to the 25 seats it holds in the National Assembly, and from the provincial legislatures in which it is represented.
One source close to the matter told the Sunday Times that senior party members feared being victimised if they openly questioned Malema over finances.
“Most people can’t speak out when they have serious concerns. Now there is a sort of cold war, resulting in provinces trying to pronounce themselves on succession,” the source said, referring to the talk of pro-Shivambu lobbying.
One insider said the fear of reprisals among party leaders unhappy with Malema was supported by an incident during the central command team’s meeting in December, when Malema lambasted party secretary-general Godrich Gardee over the quality of documents circulated at the meeting.
“He just said ‘It is not good enough’ – and like that adjourned the meeting … if he can do that to the SG, what will he do to us?” the insider said.
Asked about the incident, Gardee said: “I find it strange that for one reason or the other, whether it happened or not, someone will share it with you.”
He said it was “ill-disciplined” for party leaders to discuss internal meetings with the media.
One party source said of the murmurs about a succession contest: “I have been hearing that Gauteng is the first to start lobbying for Shivambu. But I think those people who are lobbying are mostly the commander-in-chief’s victims. There are many people who gave a lot to the party, but then they get victimised if they ask anything.”
The fault lines in the EFF emerged in a week when its former treasurer-general, Magdalene Moonsamy, criticised the party for voting with the DA in hung municipalities.
Moonsamy told the Sunday Times it was the wrong decision. “There could have been a better negotiation. We should have been guided by how close to the left we can get.”
She said the DA did not represent the interests of black people and that even though the EFF continued to fight President Jacob Zuma, it should have looked more closely at the ANC’s policies.