EFF MP calls Malema and Shivambu ‘bloody crooks’

Thembinkosi Rawula wrote on Friday that he was now free to speak his mind after not making the party's latest representatives list.

EFF (soon to be former) member of parliament Thembinkosi Rawula took to Facebook on Friday to publish an extraordinary diatribe against his party’s two top leaders, president Julius Malema and deputy president Floyd Shivambu.

He called them “the pair”, and alleged that the EFF had been like a “financial fishing net” for them, “an antithesis of everything they support”.

Rawula went on to make sweeping and damaging allegations against both party leaders, but Malema in particular, including that they had admitted in a party meeting to taking money from the now liquidated VBS Mutual Bank.

Malema laughed Rawula’s allegations off on Twitter, while party spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said Rawula was merely joining “Stratcom” due to not having made the nominations cut. He also responded with laughter emojis and dismissed “position mongers”.

The MP, who was sworn into parliament for the EFF in late 2015, admitted that he had long had reservations about his leaders, but had kept quiet about them due to allegedly needing to retain his seat in the National Assembly amid fear of being fired. However, after he learnt he hadn’t made the EFF’s candidate list to parliament for this year’s national elections, he was now free to speak his mind.

“I endured the past four years for convenience and the only leash they had on me was deployment to parliament. Now that I am not in the list, I am leashed away, so let the ball roll.”

In his long post, he among other things alleged that Malema and Shivambu had been abusing party funds, particularly the levies the party imposes on its elected representatives.

He wrote that: “The EFF receives levies from 61 MPs/MPLs and each pays not less than R6,800 monthly x 61. EFF has 852 councillors comprising metros, district and local municipalities. On average these councillors contribute R2000.00 monthly x 852.”

According to Rawula’s numbers, these levies add up to about R2.12 million per month.

He said the party also received “not less than R25 million from National Assembly and Provincial Legislatures, comprising of Party Funding, Constituency Funds and Caucus funds” every quarter.

“All these monies are centralised in the EFF under the control, abuse and dictatorship of Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu. This pair has made it clear, this is their organisation, and all of you have come to join us, not the other way round.”

He alleged that EFF treasurer-general Leigh-Ann Mathys “only administers [the] petty cash of the EFF”.

Rawula wrote that despite his status as a “Central Command Team member of the EFF since 2014, we have never had Financial Report”.

“When occasionally we find courage to ask about it, we are chastised … treated with disdain and threatened to be removed from Parliament. So for the past five years we had to think with our stomachs rather than objectively engaging the executive, holding it accountable.”

He then listed a number of alleged methods his party leaders used to gain personal access to money from legislatures and parliament, thus supposedly sidestepping Treasury laws.

“The pair [Malema and Shivambu] would use Training Providers who would inflate costs 250% so that they can run away with 150% of the inflated cost. In the absence of financial reports from the pair, we would be forced to conclude as such. These service providers are in the form of alcohol party retailers, lawyers, security (Defenders of the Revolution and bodyguard logistics service providers).”

He suspected his questions concerning the VBS saga had led to his exclusion from the new parliamentary list.

“The political overview of Julius Malema in the most recent CCT meeting admitted to EFF taking VBS money to finance the revolution. In fact [Malema] said, ‘sometimes we are forced to kiss dogs or devil to get funding’. The VBS money was done under the full knowledge of the leadership.”

He also alleged that party members, including spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, were sidelined, dismissed or embarrassed for questioning the source and abuse of funds and the lavish lifestyle of Malema.

Rawula argued that the “scandal of VBS has put the EFF cardinal pillar number 7 [anti-corruption] on trial in the court of the public opinion. The EFF will have a tough time to remedy itself to the poor grannies of Limpopo and the country as the whole”.

He added: “If we fail to pass the test of corruption, how are you going to be trusted to nationalise mines and put under your regime state custodianship? Because instead of committing to equitable redistribution you will squander the funds.

“How are you going to build state capacity when you are engaged into activities that weaken the state through engagement into corruption? How will people trust you with freeing this country from corruption?”

Rawula concluded by writing: “Lastly I refused to take collective responsibility on VBS. I am poor, live like a church mouse despite the fact that I have been a member of parliament for the past four years. The pair has milked every cent I worked for in parliament, but despite that, my integrity remains intact.”

Another EFF MP has raised her concerns about why it took Rawula so long to speak out and didn’t “fulfil his duties” by not escalating the matter.

He said he was aware he would be attacked for his view by “fighters with zero revolutionary content, the populist who will do mudslinging to appease the pair”.

However, he said this would not deter him. “Bring it on, insult me.”

He finished by describing Malema and his defenders as “Bloody crooks”.

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