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By Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor

‘Egg on your face’: Malema’s R1.2-million gala dinner table ‘sold for 3 times more’

The EFF leader used the party's gala dinner to throw shade at his critics and also honour Shivambu and Mazzotti, among others.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema’s platinum table at the party’s 10th-anniversary gala dinner sold three times more than expected.

This was revealed by the EFF leader, who addressed the fundraising dinner attended by among others, families of the shot Marikana miners, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa and controversial businessman Adriano Mazzotti.

The party will host its 10th Anniversary bash with everyone at the FNB Stadium on Saturday.

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The fundraising gala dinner sold tables as an opportunity for business people and the public to interact with the leadership of the EFF.

The table where the EFF leader was seated with his wife Mantoa sold for R1.2 million, while others cost R750k, R500k and R250k.

Who would buy a table to sit with Malema?

Addressing the gathering, Malema mocked his critics who questioned the R1.2 million price tag for his table and said it sold for much more.

“There was a story when the TG issued the first advert that we’re selling tables and Malema’s table was selling for R1.2 million.

“In a sarcastic way, the media of South Africa said: ‘Who would buy a table to sit with Malema?’ For those who’ve got an ear and access to them, tell them Malema’s table was sold three times more than we had expected as the leadership of the EFF,” said Malema.

“This has confirmed to me and to my colleagues that we’re having some brave and emerging black businesspeople who are not scared of the establishment. We’re challenging the establishment and saying no one is going to dictate to us as to how we spend our resources.”

‘Unbroken struggle’

Malema further honoured Mazzotti, who gave the EFF money to register as a political party with the IEC.

“It has been a journey of unbroken struggle and we felt it was important to invite those in the business community and key stakeholders to engage the leadership of the EFF, reflect and plan the future,” said Malema.

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“Seated here is a man called Adriano Mazzotti. He gave us money on the day we launched the EFF. When the IEC asked us to pay the money, Floyd [Shivambu] and I had nothing.

“We looked at each other in the eyes and said what is going to happen? That time they asked for R650 000 and we had no means.

“Later to be told through a telephone call, Mazzotti has got a very unique voice: ‘Brother, the money is paid’, then we knew we’re good to go.

“That is how the EFF was allowed to contest the first election in 2014.”

‘We’re proud of Mazzotti’

The EFF leader further defended Mazzotti against allegations of criminal activities, saying the controversial businessman has never been charged for any crime.

According to Malema, Mazzotti is only hated for funding a political party that constantly gives trouble to the “establishment” and white monopoly capital.

“We are very proud of Adriano Mazzotti and are not ashamed to associate with him. We don’t know his business because he’s not our business partner.

“He donated money to the EFF like all of you who bought tables here. We never asked ‘What to do you for your business?’

“We just declared because it was not a secret that the money was donated by Mazzotti.”

ALSO READ: Malema proudly owns his friendship with Adriano Mazzotti

“So we do not run an underworld, we are running an above-world, and do not be scared that we’re part of anything Mazzotti does. Mazzotti has never been arrested, neither has he been charged.

“I’ve been charged, arrested and seen the doors of prison for my political beliefs. My properties were taken by Sars, that has never happened to Mazzotti.

“He is hated for making it possible for this organisation to exist and give trouble to the establishment and WMC. If he jumps into that door and becomes WMC he will see the might of the EFF himself.”

Malema on Shivambu

The EFF leader also honoured his deputy Shivambu, who has never “disrespected” him.

“Not a single day did I feel that Floyd is in the business of trying to betray me. He has never [shown] me any sign of disrespect,” said Malema.

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“He has always shown maximum respect to me and always shared his views with me. There has never been a day where I felt Floyd and I will not see each other the following day.

“We have always looked forward to seeing each other, to exchange ideas.

“But there’s something boring about him. Every time we drink, he waits until he gets sharp and then isolates me to a corner and wants to sharpen some idea he thinks I didn’t hear properly, and that time I’m focused on dancing, even when I don’t know how to dance.

“We complement each other, we are not in competition with each other. I have made it clear to Floyd, ‘the day you get tired of me, don’t go and organise against me, just tell me, ‘I think you have served your term, it is time to go’.”

“I will leave without putting up a fight because I will know it comes from a good place”.

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“The problem starts when you organise against me and I hear it in the corners. I am very ruthless against such people who organise things against me, so never try that with me.

“And he knows that because I have never lost a conference in my entire life and no one I have supported has ever lost a conference.

“[I] am very ruthless to people who organise things against me.”

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