Members of the EFF picket outside the commission of inquiry into state capture in Parktown, Johannesburg. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/ALAISTER RUSSELL
Members of the EFF picket outside the commission of inquiry into state capture in Parktown, Johannesburg. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/ALAISTER RUSSELL

The EFF has spent about R32m on its second elective conference, money it says came from its coffers and from statutory bodies.

“There is no VBS [Mutual Bank] money here,” EFF treasurer-general Leigh-Ann Mathys said on Friday, referring to the scandal now commonly known as the Great Bank Heist. The party and its top leadership has been implicated in the scandal that has seen thousands of poor investors and pensioners lose their money.

EFF leader Julius Malema and his deputy Floyd Shivambu have been embroiled in allegations that they benefited from money looted from VBS. The scandal has also seen several mayors and municipal managers implicated, with some losing their jobs.

“The national people’s assembly is fairly self funded by the EFF,” Mathys said.

VBS was placed under liquidation in 2018 and a forensic investigation revealed large-scale fraud in which about R2bn was stolen from the bank.

Mathys said money for the EFF’s conference, which started on Friday with the registration of delegates, came from the party’s income it receives from the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC), parliament and all provincial legislatures in which it sits.

“We have money. We have managed the money extremely well and we planned very well because we knew that this conference was coming and it was going to be very costly,” she said. “This money has been completely funded by the statutory bodies that provide us income as the EFF.”

Mathys said a final tally of the expenses had not yet been completed, but at last count it was R32m. She said the transport of delegates to conference was very expensive as well as the hiring of the Nasrec expo centre where the conference is taking place. “We have given our delegates the VIP treatment. [But] no VBS money.”

About 3,800 delegates are expected to attend this weekend’s conference, where leaders of the EFF will be elected.

It is a given that Malema will continue to lead the party, with Shivambu as he deputy. However, there are likely to be some changes in the upper echelons of the party, with speculation that the rest of the top leadership, such as secretary-general Godrich Gardee and chair Dali Mpofu, will not make it back.

Nomination for leadership positions will take place at the conference on Saturday, when Malema will deliver his political report to EFF delegates. The announcement of the new leadership is expected on Sunday.

quintalg@businesslive.co.za