The Economic Freedom Fighters’ curious choice of wine for their gala dinner on Friday night in Pretoria, ahead of the launch of their elections manifesto this weekend, has left many not only scratching their heads, but accusing the party of hypocrisy.
Political journalist Carien du Plessis tweeted photos of billionaire businessman Johann Rupert’s wine brand Rupert & Rothschild on the tables at the dinner, and added that Malema had even again criticised Rupert on the evening, claiming the EFF was supposedly the only party not in the pockets of so-called white monopoly capital (WMC), and Rupert in particular.
When a Twitter user accused Du Plessis of lying about the presence of the wine, she shared a picture of herself holding a bottle with the EFF’s logo in the background. A bottle sells for about R200 in shops.
Another person even accused her of bringing the wine along herself to “frame” the EFF, which she said wasn’t the kind of “forward planning” she was capable of.
Du Plessis admitted the wine was excellent and she was trying not to quaff too much of it herself.
Amid the Twitter banter, another political journalist, Qaanitah Hunter, shared a photo suggesting the ANC is also a big Rupert & Rothschild wine fan, as she was seeing the same wine on the tables at an ANC event in the Northern Cape.
Du Plessis said she’d previously drunk this “WMC red wine” at the ANC’s gala dinner ahead of its elective conference in 2017.
Last year the EFF accused Rupert of being “the ultimate face of white privilege” and “an arrogant, white Afrikaner who sees nothing beyond his selfish, racist, white capitalist interests”.
They were reacting to an interview he’d given in which he’d advised South Africans, among other things, not to waste their time and money at luxury party venues such as Taboo and The Sands, and rather save and work hard as he and his family had done.
Many black people took exception to his comments and felt he was patronising them and showing complete tone-deafness to South Africa’s history and his own privilege.
In a December statement, the EFF said they had “always warned” the country against Rupert, claiming he was actually “a president of whites in South Africa”.
The party claimed to be a “nightmare” to Rupert, and expressed their pride over that.
In a reaction statement on Saturday morning, rival political party Black First Land First (BLF) was incensed that the EFF had bought Rupert’s wine when it could instead have supported a black wine producer.
They said the EFF was “promoting the racist Johann Rupert’s wine at its gala dinner”.
“First our people were sold for tea in London over #OccupyABSA, now our people are sold for expensive wine over the land question.
They said the EFF could not claim to be a revolutionary political party “fighting WMC, and then promote the businesses and products of the Stellenbosch cabal, led by Rupert”.
“This proves that the EFF is unprincipled and subservient to whites.
“The same EFF that claims to be revolutionary and wears overalls in Parliament, dines in Gucci and drinks Rupert’s wine at night. There are many black-owned wine brands that need exposure and support which the EFF could have promoted, but just like the African National Congress (ANC), they put white people first and support white businesses for their own personal gain.”
Du Plessis herself later shared a tweet promoting the wines of a black producer.
(Compiled by Charles Cilliers)