Some members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are reportedly disappointed and frustrated that the party’s leader Julius Malema did not consult the organisation before embarking on his “tea” meeting with former president Jacob Zuma last Friday in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal.
The Mail & Guardian reported that the EFF’s highest decision-making body, the central command team (CCT), was apparently not consulted about the meeting.
Sources inside the CCT, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to fear of intimidation, told the publication they were “frustrated” when they heard that Malema and Zuma would be meeting over tea.
The sources – who include two EFF councillors – said they were “disappointed” with Malema and said he had “gone too far” by not consulting with the party’s central command team. They also claimed that the EFF’s national leaders were not empowered to take a decision to support Zuma in his battle with the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.
“What I know is that he makes calculated and strategic moves. There is obviously a bigger reason that would have necessitated the CIC [commander-in-chief] going to Nkandla. I am just as confused as everyone else,” an EFF insider was quoted as saying. “That, to me, is the disappointing part. This tea not only has historical significance, but it speaks to what the EFF is about.”
Last week, Sunday Times reported that the EFF’s meeting with Zuma was long in the making despite it being portrayed as a spontaneous invite on social media. The tea encounter was also attended by Zuma’s staunch supporter in the governing party, Tony Yengeni, and the former national chairperson of the EFF advocate Dali Mpofu.
The paper reported that sources familiar with the matter claimed the meeting was part of a strategy being pursued by so-called “progressive forces” within the ANC who are opposed to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s leadership.
The Zuma-Malema talks apparently followed a series of discussions between the two political leaders’ close allies – Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina and former ANC Nelson Mandela Bay councillor, Andile Lungisa.
The EFF has remained quiet on what was discussed during the meeting, with its national spokesperson Vuyani Pambo only saying “the tea was nice and sweet and very hot”.
The M&G reported that efforts to get comment from the EFF over the claims by its members were unsuccessful. The Citizen also attempted to get comment from Pambo, but our calls went unanswered.