Former EFF members launch new party - Malema finds it amusing, Shivambu calls it 'desperation'
14 August 2019
Former members of the Economic Freedom Fighters launched a new political party on Wednesday, drawing a mixed reaction from the leadership of the red berets.
SABC current affairs show On Point reported that "former EFF members are launching a political party called the African Federal Convention (AFCO)". The party is led by Vusi Mathe.
EFF leader Julius Malema, apparently, found the formation amusing, tweeting laugh emojis.
EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu asked "what level of desperation and foolishness" had caused the new party's formation.
EFF deputy secretary general Hlengiwe Mkhaliphi wanted to distance the former members from the party.
"These are not EFF members. These are the thugs who were expelled from EFF as councillors of eThekwini," she said in response to questions from News24.
Mkhaliphi said that two of the members pictured - the "couple" of "Mr and Mrs Mdlalose" - had been expelled from the EFF while councillors in eThekwini.
They then joined the ATM, she said.
The EFF suspended six of its eight councillors in the eThekwini council, accusing them, among other things, of misappropriating constituency funds given to the party, IOL reported last year.
Mlungisi Mdlalose was one of the eight councillors, who had agreed to pay the party back in increments, the report said.
Mxolisi Makhubu, communications manager for ATM also denied that "Mr and Mrs Mdlalose" were former ATM members, despite pictures of them wearing party regalia and driving in a branded party car.
"We have no idea who the two individuals are and have never welcomed them to the African Transformation Movement since inception," he said.
After pictures of the individuals in question were sent to Makhubu, he responded saying that, "...based on the membership with recorded forms and actual membership fee payments, we have no records of the Mdlaloses in our books.
"As you will know, anyone can wear regalia of an organisation," he said.
Their centralised database could not pin them down to a specific branch either, Makhubu added.
Mathe, the new party's leader, responding to Malema's tweet by calling himself a "co-founder of the EFF", before adding that "Julius [Malema], he knows me".