Malema, Shivambu and Ndlozi lash out at ‘dimwitted’ ‘Stratcom agents’ following tractor story

Malema, Shivambu and Ndlozi lash out at ‘dimwitted’ ‘Stratcom agents’ following tractor story

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) deputy leader Floyd Shivambu, left, and EFF Commander-In-Chief Julius Malema briefing the media on the VBS Bank scandal in Johannesburg, 16 October 2018. Picture: ANA

The party’s top leadership appear to believe offence is the best defence, following a report alleging the party benefitted from a tender awarded by the City of Johannesburg.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have gone into overdrive following an amaBhungane report detailing evidence that a tractor ‘donated’ to two Limpopo communities appears to have been paid for by a company who received a lucrative R1 billion contract from the City of Johannesburg – which some believe may have caused the EFF to cooperate with mayor Herman Mashaba’s administration.

EFF leader Julius Malema called veteran journalist Ferial Haffajee a “fool”, before continuing to insult her in Sepedi, after she suggested the party should “rebrand as an entrepreneurial party, not a socialist revolutionary one.”

The party’s second-in-command Floyd Shivambu also reacted to Haffajee’s tweet, saying that “Stratcom agents” are not only “controlled by factions” but are also “dim witted” because they supposedly haven’t read enough about socialism.

“This is actually very embarrassing!” he added.

The party’s spokesperson, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, meanwhile, accused “Stratcom fools” of having no proof that the EFF influenced Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba’s City of Johannesburg government to give Afrirent a tender.

This tweet came less than twenty minutes after questions sent to Ndlozi via WhatsApp, marked as read by him, were ignored. One of these questions asked if there is a link between the EFF’s cooperation with Mashaba’s government in Gauteng and Afrirent allegedly paying for the tractors.

READ MORE: There’s no such thing as a free tractor: Malema and the City of Joburg kickbacks – report

It is unclear who has accused the EFF of influencing Mashaba to hand Afrirent a tender worth a billion rand, as alleged in Ndlozi’s tweet.

Rather, an amaBhungane report released last year addresses rumours that the “EFF was given patronage over lucrative City of Johannesburg tenders as a quid pro quo for working with Herman Mashaba’s DA-led administration” – the rumours are that Mashaba bought the EFF’s cooperation in the metro rather than the other way around.

The report details how just before Afrirent were awarded a 1 billion rand tender, the company allegedly paid money into a Mahuna Investments account – the same company alleged to have been used by the EFF as a slush fund following payments believed to have come from VBS Bank.

This led to amaBhungane asking questions about whether the money was given to EFF in return for their working with Mashaba’s administration, something denied both by the red berets and a city spokesperson, who said: “This is an unfounded allegation without basis. At no point was any political figure involved within the [procurement] process.”

The report spoke to sources in the DA-led Joburg government who accused Mashaba of showing a “willingness to sacrifice clean governance on the altar of political expediency”, further alleging “that to maintain power he has allowed the EFF to control departments and tenders.”

A new report released by amaBhungane on Friday looks into evidence that Afrirent paid for a tractor Malema donated to two Limpopo communities in December last year.

Further messages sent to Ndlozi were ignored at the time of publication, with the City of Johannesburg also yet to respond.

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