EFF leader Julius Malema has responded to reports over the weekend that the party’s Gauteng conference became violent on Saturday night.
On Monday morning he tweeted that “the mob” was retweeting “every story that says Malema was attacked, wishing it was true”.
“The truth is EFF had three successful elective provincial conferences in GP, NW, MP & that won’t be retweet because there was no drama & they are disappointed.”
The mob is retweeting every story that says Malema was attacked, wishing it was true. The truth is EFF had three successful elective provincial conferences in GP, NW, MP & that won't be retweet because there was no drama & they are disappointed. #KhulaEFF ????????????????????????????♂️
— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) September 3, 2018
On Sunday morning, news broke that Malema’s security unit, known as the Defenders of the Revolution (DOR), had allegedly beaten up and shot live rounds at EFF members in the Vaal on Saturday night.
Malema attended the party’s provincial people’s assembly gathering in Midvaal to oversee the election of new leaders.
A dispute over the availability for election of an expelled member, Abednego Mathole, allegedly led Mathole’s supporters to get upset and storm out of the venue. Another point of dispute was reportedly the EFF’s support for the DA, which this apparent “faction” was also not happy about.
An anonymous witness said a vehicle carrying Malema was the source of gunshots that followed the meeting. It had been reported that this may have been in response to Malema’s vehicle being stoned after the faction had accused him of imposing his preferred candidate on them.
Mandisa Mashego was elected as the Gauteng chairperson.
Newly elected Chairperson of EFF in Gauteng, Fighters @MandisaMashego giving her closing address at 2nd Provincial Peoples Assembly flacked by the newly elected Provincial Command Team ???????? #Malibongwe pic.twitter.com/Qb0vVVhJL6
— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) September 2, 2018
“Thugs” from a Toyota Quantum then allegedly “viciously attacked everyone, including myself”, the EFF member alleged. One member, named only as “Mike from Alexandra”, was allegedly beaten so badly he had to be hospitalised after being rendered unconscious.
It’s understood that Mathole was expelled from the party for, among other things, a confrontation with EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee, who was accused in July of punching and slapping another young member of the party multiple times, mistakenly thinking he was Mathole.
Mathole has denied assaulting Gardee, which is the EFF leadership’s official line on the matter.
Mathole had openly criticised the EFF leadership, including deputy president Floyd Shivambu, after Shivambu assaulted a journalist outside parliament.
However, Malema has claimed it was Mathole who in fact assaulted Gardee, which apparently infuriated Mathole’s supporters, as they consider this a lie. It was at this point that they apparently stormed out of the venue.
An audio clip has emerged of Malema denouncing Mathole and his supporters as “stone throwers”, amid him talking about Mathole allegedly assaulting Gardee. Malema said he would not be willing to negotiate with such people.