Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) secretary-general Godrich Gardee told The Citizen it was “definitely not” true that Lungile Gabuza was unfairly dismissed from the party.
This follows reports that the EFF member was set to become an MP but was dismissed from the party for refusing to give up a seat in parliament to a fellow EFF member preferred by the party’s leadership.
Lungile Gabuza told City Press that the EFF’s leadership attempted to bully her into signing a letter giving up her place in the party’s parliamentary list for Omphile Maotwe, who was one of two EFF politicians sworn in as a member of parliament (MP) on Wednesday alongside Luvuyo Tafeni.
“Ask her to share all correspondences between her and the EFF,” Gardee said.
“It’s not true what she’s saying, but ask her. She’s in a better position to give her view on whether the process was fair.”
The publication first reported that Gabuza had been threatened that her political career would be “destroyed” if she failed to sign the letter in late September.
A letter from Gardee now confirms Gabuza’s expulsion.
“The aforementioned entails that the findings of the national disciplinary committee of appeal and ratification of the central command team to expel you is upheld, with the same sanction/sentence of immediate expulsion from the EFF remaining effective. You are therefore hereby informed of the immediate termination of your membership of the EFF,” it says.
Gabuza told City Press that EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu was meant to let her know about the status of the hearing appealing her pending dismissal within 24 hours, but instead, she found out about its outcome upon receiving the letter.
She added that Maotwe had been sworn in prior to her being informed of her dismissal.
Gabuza believes the hearing was a farce, with a predetermined outcome, as during proceedings she heard Gardee telling EFF leader Julius Malema that they would be sending her a dismissal letter the following day.
A recent report in Sunday World has suggested that Gardee’s time as secretary-general will soon be up, as he has reportedly been removed from Julius Malema’s list of new leaders who will be able to contest elections at the party’s upcoming conference.
It was reported that he will be replaced by EFF MP Marshall Dlamini.
Another Sunday World report indicated that while there is reportedly some disagreement on who should lead the party between a faction supportive or Malema and one which supports the party’s national chairperson Dali Mpofu, both camps agree that Gardee should be replaced.
The party’s upcoming elective conference, the Second National People’s Assembly, will take place over three days in Nasrec, South of Johannesburg in December.
(Compiled by Daniel Friedman)