At a media briefing on Thursday, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema admitted that he was “aware” of “individuals being sent money” ahead of the party’s upcoming elective conference, which will be held at Nasrec in December.
As part of the “contestations” ahead of the conference, Malema said that while he knew that attempts would be made to buy power within the EFF, these would be resisted by the party’s leadership.
“We know the people that are going to send money because we completely discourage money,” he said.
“People must contest within the guidelines of the EFF but once you use money, it means you want to buy the EFF.”
Later on during the briefing, Malema responded to a question on why he hasn’t acted on information he has received about people using money to buy favour within the party, ahead of the internal elections.
“The report is that the money is coming and the accounts have been circulated. You don’t want to accuse people before you have evidence,” he said.
“What if this person is lying to us? And then the person creates divisions amongst leaders of the EFF when there is no proof”.
“You don’t just get excited, you will divide the organisation unnecessarily because you would have fallen victim of information peddlers,” he added.
Malema expressed concern at the briefing over the way the EFF is covered by the media, saying the fact that leadership positions were being contested within the party should be seen as a sign that its democratic processes were healthy.
“I am worried that the fight is being peddled by you the media and yet people are contesting. When people do not contest, then Malema is a dictator, but when people are contesting then people are fighting?”
He called on journalists to cover the EFF “factually and to confirm any information they received.”
“Expose the fights in the EFF, write anything you must but you must be factual, you must see the proof to confirm the story that you are writing,” he said.
Malema has said before that all positions in the EFF were up for grabs and that this was a sign of democratic health, not divisions.
“All positions in the EFF are contested, including that of the president. Don’t say there are divisions when Dali contests for the presidency in December, you must be happy that we have democratic processes,” Malema said in October.
Media reports have been rife with rumours of factions vying for power within the EFF and speculation that the conference may see a shakeup of key positions.
There has been speculation that members including deputy president Floyd Shivambu, secretary-general Godrich Gardee, and national chairperson Dali Mpofu may lose their positions – although it has also been reported that some within the EFF want Mpofu to become the party’s new deputy president, replacing Shivambu.