Charles Cilliers
3 minute read
14 Aug 2018
8:41 pm

Female EFF members accuse Malema of lying with his Women’s Day promises

Charles Cilliers

They say the EFF has not treated Maggie Klaas in the way Malema suggests is their culture after she was 'assaulted' by a senior member.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party leader Julius Malema (2nd L) speaks flanked by then Democratic Alliance (DA) party leader Mmusi Maimane (L), and Corne Mulder (R) of the Freedom Front Plus (FF+), at a press conference in 2018. / AFP PHOTO / RODGER BOSCH

In a statement on Tuesday on behalf of disgruntled junior EFF member Maggie Klaas (32), Seitebogeng Nkitseng, an EFF member of North West’s provincial legislature, said that EFF leader Julius Malema was not walking the talk when it came to his comments on the abuse of women.

She said Klaas’ experience at the hands of his party had been vastly different to what Malema had promised last week in his speech in Pietermaritzburg.

Malema said on Thursday that the EFF could only become the government of the country if they could succeed in getting more women to support them.

READ MORE: Women don’t vote for EFF, because we don’t make any sense – Malema

“The majority of EFF voters are men, and we can’t be proud of that. It means there is something wrong we are doing. Women are attracted to things that make sense. So it means we are not making sense – because the majority of EFF voters are men.

“Because those ones [women] who are outside wanting to vote for you, they can see how you are treating your women in the EFF.

“We want a woman vote. Once we get the women vote … we are gone. We are going to be government here in Natal. We are not government in Natal because women are not voting for us. We must go out and prioritise the female vote. It’s there. It’s waiting for us,” he told the crowd.

He called for the EFF to always treat women with the utmost respect. Malema repeated earlier remarks that the Men Are Trash movement was right and that men are, indeed, trash.

All of this did little, however, to convince Klaas and Nkitseng, who said on Tuesday: “While we mark August as Women’s Month, EFF leader Julius Malema has come out guns blazing against woman abuse in South Africa, declaring men who abuse women as trash and that perpetrators would not be tolerated in the EFF.

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” said Nkitseng, saying that Klaas’ case would tomorrow be heard again in the Mmabatho Magistrates’ Court against the party’s provincial deputy chairperson and chief whip in North West, Bunga Ntshangane.

She alleged the EFF had never publicly expressed its position on Klaas’ case, “apart from the fact that the case is under internal investigation”.

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No post-traumatic counselling had been offered to Klaas, and she “continues to work in the same hostile environment”.

Instead, Nkitseng said, Klaas had herself been charged for misconduct for speaking out publicly and the perpetrator had not been charged or placed under provisional suspension.

“The victim was charged for not greeting her aggressor; a charge that was subsequently withdrawn.”

Nkitseng added: “Now this is when the road meets the rubber.”

According to reports from earlier this year, Ntshangane allegedly assaulted Klaas (32) in November 2017 after a heated argument.

Klaas told the Taung Daily News: “Ntshangane arrived in our office … after a few minutes, Ntshangane came back to our office and he threw his car keys and phone on the desk.

“He said he needed a favour with his voice shadowed with anger. I immediately dropped the call and asked him what kind of favour he needs. Ntshangase said I must report on duty at 8am the following day. However, I asked him why I should report on duty at 8am because I normally arrive at 8.30am,” Klaas was quoted saying.

She claimed Ntshangase became violent – though she was not clear on what the nature of this violence was – and he told her not to undermine his authority.

She alleged he threatened to fire her and later allegedly started swearing at her and threatened to cut off her private parts – also allegedly calling her “rubbish”.

“He said his children are lawyers and he is untouchable. He went to the EFF provincial office and lied that he found unauthorised people using EFF resources like phones,” she told the website.