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‘Ruthless’ Malema warns EFF members against betrayal at 10-year celebration gala dinner

‘Ruthless’ Malema warns EFF members against betrayal at 10-year celebration gala dinner
EFF president Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu celebrated the party's birthday at the Marikana Koppie where the party was launched 10 years ago, on 26 July 2023. (Photo: Supplied)

At a swanky gala dinner in Johannesburg on Thursday evening, EFF founder Julius Malema dished out praise and appreciation for tobacco tycoon Adriano Mazzotti and warnings to anyone in the party who tried to organise against him.

The EFF attracted a cross-section of guests to a gala dinner to celebrate the party’s 10-year anniversary on Thursday evening. Attendees included the likes of United Democratic Movement president Bantu Holomisa and Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, to controversial figures Former Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama and Tobacco tycoon Adriano Mazzotti

The EFF’s birthday celebrations have not only been about the commemoration of the formation of what has become the third-largest party in the country but also about the red berets taking stock of their progress.

This has become a sore point for the party, which according to experts and polling indicates that the EFF might have reached its ceiling and could possibly see a stagnation in support come the 2024 elections. 

The party strategically hosted the event at Emperors Palace, in Ekurhuleni where they govern alongside the ANC and other smaller parties in a  coalition arrangement.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Growing pain(s): Dear EFF, after 10 years of adding fuel to the fire, it’s now time for you to grow up

The party shook politics on its first outing as a breakaway from the ANC  when it won 6.35% of the vote in the general election of 2014. It contested its first local elections in 2016, getting 8.19%.  In 2019, the Red Berets increased their support nationally, garnering 10.80% of the votes and, in the 2021 local elections, they received 10.31%. 

The EFF’s birthday celebrations included the party visiting Marikana, then hosting a fancy cocktail party where it reflected on how they have manoeuvred through the tough South African political landscape. 

The party was attended by many high profile individuals and Johannesburg socialites where party President Julius Malema delivered the keynote address. 

Malema spoke on a range of topics relating to the party as well as the state of the country.

EFF 10th anniversary

Supporters of the EFF celebrate the party’s 10th birthday at the Marikana Koppie where the party was launched 10 years ago. (Photo: Supplied)

Corruption and State Capture

The leader of the red berets said that the decision to shut down the Komati coal-fired power station in Mpumalanga in October 2022 was a “big error” on the part of the government. He also said that the poor shape of state-owned entities is testament to the extent of corruption and State Capture in the country. 

“If the Guptas did State Capture, they were playing. What we are experiencing today with Eskom makes Guptas look like a joke. Today, more than 300 people in communities near Grootvlei and Hendrina were promised training as part of the so-called just transition, when the Komati power station was shut down are still stranded, unemployed and without income.

“But the collapse of the economy, public finance and state-owned enterprises is just a symptom of the far broader systemic problem [called] corruption. When we formed the EFF we correctly characterised South Africa as a kleptocracy. 

“Every day we witness government leaders openly looting state resources by seeking self-enrichment without shame. While the people of Hammanskraal lack clean water the residents of Spruitview Mooiplaas live on a dumpsite. The people of Stjwetla [informal settlement] Alexander are packed together like rats, and children in the Eastern Cape continue to use pit toilets yet your state president holds an unveiling of Mandela’s statue.”   

EFF’s relationship with Mazzotti

Malema mentioned the tobacco dealer during his speech and how he had managed to assist with the registration of the EFF as a political party. He defended Mazzotti’s integrity, saying that his business dealings are above board.

“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. We don’t run an underworld, we are running an above world and don’t be scared that we are part of anything that Mazzotti does. Mazzotti has never been arrested.

“He donated money to the EFF like all of you who bought tables here. We never asked ‘What do you do for your business?’ We just declared because it was not a secret that the money was donated by Mazzotti.”

Read more in Daily Maverick: Sheriff raids Adriano Mazzotti’s home and premises to pay taxman 

Boasting about gala dinner attendance

The R1.2-million table price that attendees were asked to pay to sit with Malema at the gala dinner had tongues wagging in the buildup, with some mentioning that it was an ambitious feat. However, his table was fully booked and the leader of the red berets could not resist bragging about it.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Would you pay R1.2m to sit with EFF leader Julius Malema?


EFF president Julius Malema at the party’s 10th anniversary celebrations at the Marikana Koppie, 26 July, 2023 (Photo: Supplied)

“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. 

“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.”

Read more in Daily Maverick: MPs among 439 EFF members named, shamed and banned from birthday bash for failing to secure buses

Strong message to deputy Floyd Shivambu  and other EFF members

Floyd Shivambu (EFF deputy president) during the EFF Gala Dinner on 27 July 2023 in Kempton Park, South Africa. (Photo: Gallo Images/OJ Koloti)

What started out as a tribute to a longstanding brotherhood between Malema and Shivambu, ended in a warning shot to any of his detractors including Shivambu. The two leaders were both booted out of the ANC which led to the formation of the EFF. 

“He [Floyd] 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 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’.

“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.”

State of the economy

The EFF leader identified opportunities which South Africa should take to grow its ailing economy and to redress inequality.

“More than 50% of the population is considered to be living in poverty while at least 18.2 million people live in extreme poverty. Even the world bank which has often been protective of South Africa’s mismanagement of economic policy has now come out to confirm that indeed South Africa is the most unequal society in the world.

“This is a country that has the world’s largest resources of platinum, a country which is capable of producing cement and building material locally and can manufacture 80% of the country’s steel, locally mined iron ore, chrome and manganese.”

The party’s main celebration will be held on Saturday at the FNB stadium in Soweto. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • William Kelly says:

    Pay back the VBS money!

  • Hermann Funk says:

    Malema, the thief, speaking about the negative aspects of state capture and corruption, gives an indication how low the politicians have sunk. On top of it, he is being sponsored by a man who has made his fortune by being anything but honest in his business dealings. What a rotten lot.

  • Julian Chandler says:

    What has 103 legs, and 84 teeth?
    Front row at a Malema speech.

    • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

      ha ha and I heard that was a ge korsten concert (except I think there were 3 hairs also)

    • jonathan65 says:

      The problem with selective reporting is that anyone can pick facts and use them.

      Malema is not wrong. The government has created a mess, a poverty trap, a kleptocracy and a death spiral of incompetence they cannot pull out of.

      He knows though, he cannot fix it.

      Pointing out the inadequacies of others, is not the same as offering constructive solutions.

      Julius, as the men who sat down with you so many years ago and found you wanting them, asked you “it’s easy to tear down a country, but what would you build in its place?”

  • Francois Smith says:

    I wonder how many of the miners that were in the firing line of the police at Marikana got something to eat at the Gala dinner. Probably none.

  • Kerry van Schalkwyk says:

    Viva EFF Viva! Shameless criminal, violent, racist, thugs flocking together – champagne socialists purporting to act on behalf of the poor, while stealing money from their constituents & who knows what else they really do, while the poor, pathetic “foot soldiers” believe that by following him, great riches will be theirs, taken from the “settlers” & redistributed to them. How cruel & heartless is that to lie to your “fighters” for the sake of enriching your own pockets – rotten to the core, the lot of them. Cry the Beloved Country.

  • Peter Doble says:

    The Clockwork Reds – 10 year old tearaways and still just a bunch of thieving thugs. As the ace cartoonist labelled them – Everything Fake and Fascist. Perfect!

  • Ritey roo roo says:

    Ag sies tog

  • Rory Short says:

    JM is a smart political operator but he is in the game only for himself no matter what he might say to the contrary.

  • Steve Davidson says:

    “When we formed the EFF we correctly characterised South Africa as a kleptocracy”… and did our bit to help it and ourselves.

  • Simon Winde says:

    “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. We don’t run an underworld, we are running an above world and don’t be scared that we are part of anything that Mazzotti does. Mazzotti has never been arrested..

  • Jmallandain says:

    I find this hard to read… the fact that he is an obsequious practitioner of corruption and collusion, yet hundreds of thousands still vote for him and all the political tuft hunters clamour to pay ridiculous money to sit at his table. It fills me with ever growing horror … we are rapidly moving torwards Fascism and our general population is contently unaware.

  • Rae Earl says:

    With pointed referrals to Floyd Shivambu in the context of party betrayal, are cracks in the EFF leadership underway? The only thing that binds the party together is its access to money. Whether donated by known operators like Adriano Mazzotti or openly stolen from the VBS bank accounts of desperately poor black citizens, the source of the money does not concern Malema and his mob. This income stream is essential for maintaining the high living expenses of the Commander-in-chief and his generals. A coalition ANC/EFF government in in 2024 is a distinct possibility as both parties need access to state coffers to maximise their entrenched looting via the handing out of juicy government tenders to buddies. If an ANC/EFF coalition materialises, goodbye South Africa.

  • roger.deats says:

    I wonder whether Ruth is worried that she’s been left out.

  • Libby De Villiers says:

    Yes, we are indeed rich in resources, and there should be enough to share and secure good lives for everybody in this country,
    as in the rest of Africa.
    But the kleptocratic politicians have thrown us to the wolves. They hang out with Guptas and Mazzottis and other thugs. Malema is an extreme racist, and his only political tools are fear and hatred – as were the tools of the fascist National party and the right wing extremists here, in Israel and the skinheads in Europe.
    His screaming and performing is utterly pathetic as are the warnings against those who plan to oust him.
    He is obviously very paranoid and scared. He lives the highlife when traveling and playing golf in the UK, shopping at Cartier (but hating Rupert) and fine wining and dining all the way.
    What a noisy and unimpressive little man.

  • William Dryden says:

    I don’t know who writes the garbage that Malema spouts out but it stirs up the crowds of miscreants that are his followers. He wasn’t so brave when he was clopped at a rally but ran away like the chicken he is.

  • andrew farrer says:

    come on DM, list all the “businessmen” who sat at/ paid 1.2M a plate, and how they got their money. Guaranteed most through dodgy tenders and bee

  • Chris 123 says:

    Et tu Floyd 🤣

  • Garth Kruger says:

    a very dangerous man. Underestimate him at your peril.

  • Jon Quirk says:

    The acknowledgment of the very considerable financial support from the Grey Owl, Adriano Mazzotti, shows the depths that Malema will go to, as he seeks to mould society, and indeed the whole of South Africa, into his Hitlerian, brown-shirts, violent, extreme, self-serving Fascist World.

    Evil personified.

  • Shaheen Mehtar says:

    Isn’t it ironic (and perhaps contradictory) that this 10th EFF birthday bash everyone dressed in “tucs”? And, ofcourse, the money spent could be donated to the widows of Marikana? just saying….

  • David Crossley says:

    It terrifies me to read something like this.
    That Malema can charge R1.2 million for people to sit at his table says a lot about his charisma and magnetism.
    But read between the lines and anyone who thinks rationally about South Africa politics should shiver at any thought that the EFF and Malema should take power.
    That would be the end of South Africa.
    His address on Saturday lauded President Putin – what a hypocrite he is!

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