Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema called Democratic Alliance (DA) chief whip John Steenhuisen a “stupid fool” on Twitter on Friday after he brought up recent news reports about the EFF in parliament.
The EFF leader was reacting to a tweet from Sentletse Diakanyo, the owner of a furniture company as well as a prominent pro-EFF voice on the social media platform, who described Steenhuisen as having made “pre-school remarks” following a News24 story detailing the goings-on in parliament on Thursday.
Steenhuisen asked questions about EFF funding after the party’s national spokesperson, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to disclose all the funding for the CR17 campaign, which won him the ANC presidency, threatening to take the president to court if he didn’t do so.
In response, Steenhuisen said while he agreed with Ndlozi’s view that we should look at the “connection between money and politics”, this should apply to all parties.
“We need to ask questions. Who is funding these parties at fancy houses in Camps Bay? Who is paying for the business class tickets that were found in the rubbish bins at those parties? Who is paying for the Moët and Chandon and Meerlust Rubicon that was found there?” he said with reference to Marianne Thamm’s recent story in The Daily Maverick.
He also brought up reports over the weekend, based on information contained in journalist Pieter du Toit’s new book The Stellenbosch Mafia, that EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu enjoyed a “close relationship” with billionaire businessman Johann Rupert.
“Why are politicians meeting with Mr Anton [sic] Rupert, quietly, behind the scenes, and keeping this away from their own parties?” he asked.
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“And more importantly, what interest would a businessperson have in paying for somebody’s outstanding tax bill at Sars?” he continued, this time referring to reports in multiple news outlets about money paid to Malema by alleged cigarette smuggler and fraudster Adriano Mazzotti.
“And you have got to look at who the hidden hand is behind many of these particular parties. And I think if you look at the recent attack on people like the honourable Pravin Gordhan, and others, I think you can follow the money back very carefully, and it ends up at Mr Mazzotti’s door,” he alleged.
The discussion in parliament followed ANC chairperson of the portfolio committee on justice and correctional services, Bulelani Magwanishe, introducing the legislative proposal to amend the Promotion of Access to Information Act to the National Assembly on Thursday afternoon.
The amendments will require the accounting officer of a political party to keep records of any money paid or donated to a political party which is more than R100,000; any money lent to the political party; any money paid on behalf of a political party; assets, services or facilities provided to a political party; and any sponsorships provided to a political party.
(Compiled by Daniel Friedman)