We received your letter dated 15th January 2015 titled EFF NATIONAL ASSEMBLY CHALLENGES. We also note that the same letter you sent to the leadership was disseminated to Provincial Leaders of the Economic Freedom Fighters, and to the media.
We note the various concerns you have about the Economic Freedom Fighters 1st National People’s Assembly, and will respond to each and every concern you have raised. You will remember that as part of preparations for the National People’s Assembly, we adopted Guidelines and conflict resolution mechanisms on all internal matters, which as part of the collective you were part of. You never expressed any concern over the process, and were instead part of the leadership collective that ensured that all our internal process are thorough to the finest.
The War Council and Central Command Team which you were a member of until election of the CCT in the 1st EFF NPA was responsible for all processes that led to the 1st National People’s Assembly. On various occasions, you prepared and tabled reports that pointed to the reality that the Branch, Regional and Provincial People’s Assemblies that were convened in preparation for the National People’s Assembly were legitimately convened and complied to the Guidelines as adopted by the CCT.
At no stage did you as the National Co-ordinator bring to the attention of the War Council and CCT that there were irregularities concerning preparations for the National People’s Assembly. Nonetheless, we will use this space to respond to your concerns, despite the reality that you were custodian of all the issues you have concerns on:
Changing Branch Delegates to the National Assembly:
Please be reminded that two weeks prior to the National People’s Assembly, we instructed all CCT deployees to go to Provinces where they were deployed to go listen to queries concerning the audit outcomes in relation to delegates for the NPA. This was done and you were part of all meetings that received and adopted reports in this regard.
Illegally and unjustifiably altering the Branch Audit Reports:
At no stage did the War Council and CCT of the EFF illegally and unjustifiably alter the Branch Audit Reports. The only time such almost happened was when you as the National Co-ordinator insisted there should be additional delegates for the Tshwane Regional People’s Assembly, an issue which was rejected and raised as a concern with you. The 2nd concern was when you altered the delegates for the West Rand RPA, and such was averted by the intervention of the War Council. Please remember that you even went to the extent of insulting Commissar Mlungisi Rapodile, calling him with his mother’s private parts when he refused your instruction to alter delegates for the West Rand Regional People’s Assembly. The War Council received a formal complaint in this regard, and despite my study leave then, I called you to bring to your attention that the War Council has received a complaint about your conduct.
The 3rd concern was when you instructed the interim leadership of the EFF in Northern Cape to alter and change the delegates to the PPA, an act which led to violent disruption of the 1st leg of the Northern Cape PPA and injury of one of the CCT members responsible for security.
At no stage were Branch Audit Reports altered by any member of the CCT. When there were concerns over the Cape Metro Audit report, you personally provided explanations that the concerns brought by the PCT of the Western Cape are unreasonable and advised that I should not attend to queries of the Western Cape. You personally advised that I should not attend to the issues raised by the PCT of the Western Cape and argued strongly in the War Council that the concerns raised were not legitimate because the Western Cape PCT complains about all deployees to the Province. We are not aware of any other concern raised that was not attended to by the leadership collective.
There is currently no leadership structure or any member of the EFF who have raised complaints about this process, except you. Despite attempts to change audit reports by yourself as National Co-ordinator, there are no any other reports that such occurred in all the People’s Assemblies that occurred.
Undermining of the organisational constitution and members rights and duties.
We are not aware of what you are referring to here, but what we know is that you were part of all decisions of the CCT and War Council and at no stage did you bring to the attention of those structures that the Constitution is being undermined.
Interference with my duties as a National Co-ordinator.
As a National Co-ordinator, the EFF provided you with all the necessary support and you were given the space and opportunity to perform your duties. All organisational reports to the War Council and CCT were prepared and presented by you, except in instances where you had difficulty and would be assisted and yet given an opportunity to go through the reports before presentation to the CCT.
Exclusion on the agenda for the NPA:
The agenda and programme of the National People’s Assembly was adopted by both the War Council and CCT, and at no stage did you raise any concern. Besides, you were on the programme of the NPA to present the organisational report, and of all people who spoke at the National People’s Assembly, you were allocated the most time and spoke longer than any other member of the CCT whilst presenting the organisational report. Being on the agenda for the NPA means that you had an item to fulfil and that is what you did. The Head Office is in possession of the video recording of the National People’s Assembly, and will gladly avail it to you to refresh your memory over the fact that you were on the agenda of the NPA and presented organisational report on behalf of the CCT.
Quorum of the National People’s Assembly
The CCT held a meeting on the stage of the National People’s Assembly and you were present when Commissar Magdalene Moonsamy presented credentials that pointed to the reality that we expected 3,852 delegates and in attendance were 2186. In terms of the Guidelines, quorum for any Assembly is 50% plus 1 and in terms of these numbers that were adopted by the NPA, we indeed met the quorum. You had an ample opportunity to raise this concern at the NPA, yet you did not.
Also you accepted nomination for the position of Secretary General and it escapes our imagination as to why would you accept nomination to be elected by a National People’s Assembly that did not meet the requirements and “illegal” as per your letter.
Please remember that you presented an organisational report to the very National People’s Assembly, and as a disciplined cadre, you should have brought to the attention of the NPA that the meeting has no quorum.
Presentation of Credentials was taken away from my Office:
The War Council and CCT which you were part of resolved that Commissar Magdalene should manage the processes of credentials and will constantly update the leadership collective. You reasonably could not have prepared and presented the credentials because even on the other tasks of preparing the organisational report, you were not ready three days before the People’s Assembly despite the reality that you had ample time to prepare a report. You will also recall that all NPA preparation related tasks were shared by the War Council to all members of the War Council and you assisted across all tasks, e.g. outside accommodation, open space for the proposed rally, meetings with UFS, corresponding with provinces on War Council decisions towards their RPAs and PPA and NPA.
Verification and adoption of credentials by CCT was not done.
This is not true because a special CCT was convened on the stage of the NPA and adopted credentials. You were part of the meeting and it looks like your memory is not serving you well.
Contravening of Guidelines and Officials’ slate:
EFF Provincial Chairpersons and Secretaries engaged themselves in a process of leadership discussion in order to avoid unnecessary contestation. It was their revolutionary and democratic right to do so. They then approached those whose names were being mentioned for Officials positions to advise them that there is a need to build consensus.
Leaders of provinces informed me as President of the EFF that they called you for a meeting, and you rejected them and instead convened Caucuses and small meetings where you questioned my integrity as the President of the EFF and further said you will never agree to be led by people of Indian origin, referring to the current Secretary General and Treasurer General of the EFF. You ran and co-ordinated a campaign for your election as Secretary General and refused to meet with leaders of provinces who sought to build consensus on the leadership question. There was no slate printed and distributed and accordingly, your facts are wrong in this regard.
Additional Members’ List.
Again, leaders of provinces met to have discussions on Fighters whose names were to be considered for the CCT. It is common knowledge that provinces considered you as number 1 additional member and the Chairperson of Free State Province called you to ask that you be available for the leadership and you refused. You should further recall that the Chairperson of Limpopo Province was also mandated to call you and you also refused to meet with him and his delegation. All these were attempts in good faith by leaders of provinces to bring you on board.
The issue of provinces developing a common approach was the only practical way possible because delegates did not know the names of each other since this was the 1st NPA and it was not possible that provinces would know of leaders from other regions and provinces. It is therefore amazing why all of a sudden you have such a complaint. When such a concern arose in the NPA, you had all the ample time and space to rise and add your voice for the NPA to make a determination but you were nowhere to be found when delegates nominated you.
Use of Money to buy delegates.
We are not aware that there were delegates that were bought by anyone and we do not believe that most of our members and leaders had money to influence the NPA unduly.
Undue interference with the independent electoral commission.
The electoral commission was appointed by the CCT after your recommendations and the reality is that you had worked with them before. We trusted you as the National Co-ordinator and appointed the electoral commission as presented to the War Council by yourself and War Council gave them guidelines (which were e mailed to you) on how the Conference should be run. You were part of this meeting in Bloemfontein when we agreed with the electoral commission on the step by step guideline and you never complained on the step by step document e mailed to you and the electoral commission.
As political leadership, we provided guidance when the electoral commission was overwhelmed and not doing what we agreed had to be done and this was an open process and opened to the media and everyone to see that there is no undue interference. As political leadership, we carried a responsibility and obligation to prevent the National People’s Assembly from collapsing.
The electoral commission has sent us their report and nowhere does their report decry of interference because they and all the observers declared the elections free and fair. There is currently no structure of the EFF which has raised any complaint concerning this process and we are more than satisfied that all went according to the required procedures.
The Guidelines adopted by the CCT provided for a secret ballot only when a name that is raised reached 30% of delegates in a National People’s Assembly and such number of names exceed the required number of persons that should serve in that position or positions as additional members. This is what guided all the Branch, regional and provincial people’s assembly. There was completely no way that all names nominated would automatically be on a secret ballot because such was not going to work and against our guidelines.
I am sure that you will remember that when you presided over the Gauteng Provincial People’s Assembly, you did not immediately introduce secret ballot prior to those who were nominated reaching the 30% threshold. A secret ballot could not be introduced in the NPA for your election or non-election as Secretary General because as per the electoral commission report, you did not reach the required 30% threshold to qualify for secret ballot elections. This happened during an open session and media and observers were observing the developments.
Nature and Management of the Assembly:
Chairing by the CiC did not allow open debates and discussions:
In all the sessions which I presided, I provided open space for delegates to raise concerns and allowed space for objections on proposed motions. A number of Commissars were appointed by the War Council to chair different sessions and the programme was adopted by the War council in which you not only served, but co-ordinated.
Political report was punctuated by threats:
Political reports are political perspectives that are open for discussions, and you had an opportunity to discuss and point to what you believed were wrong views and threats. No member of the EFF was threatened and during discussions, delegates frankly and openly reflected on the political report and none whatsoever made a claim that there were threats to any member of the EFF.
Open Sessions to the media
The NPA agenda and programme indicated which sessions of the NPA are closed and which ones are opened and the whole NPA was run as per the agenda and programme. There is no open session that was closed and there was no closed session that was opened to the media. War Council which is co-ordinated by you approved the agenda. The EFF NPA was run according to the adopted agenda, in terms of open and closed sessions.
Audited Financial Report:
The CCT, where your report was presented for adoption prior to the NPA, resolved that you should include in your organisational report, a section on organisational finances and assets and that you should work with the Commissar who was responsible for finance to prepare and include such a report. We should be asking you as to what happened not withstanding that paragraph 32 in page 43 of your report does provide a short synopsis of organisational finances.
The CCT where your report was presented also resolved that all CCT Members who wish to view the audited financial statement of the EFF should get it from the Commissar responsible for Finance for viewing. Please be aware that in terms of the Public Finance Management Act (s65a), Financial Management of Parliament Act (s59 and 60-1) and various legislature financial management laws, every organisation that receives grants from Treasury through Parliament, legislatures and IEC should provide audited financial statements of the past financial year before new financial year grants could be transferred. The end of financial year 2014/15 is the 31st March 2015 and EFF shall provide to those institutions the audited financial reports in time as prescribed by the various acts. The law requires Parliament, Legislatures and IEC to publish for public consumption the reports received from all political parties in the annual reports of those transferring institutions. These institutions usually make such reports public in August annually as the laws provides that such annual reports should be published for public consumption not later than five months after the end of every financial year.
Nonetheless, those audited financial statement of the EFF as reported in your Organisational report in page 43, paragraph 32, is still available, and because you are still a member, we will allow you to come view and study the statement in the office since we do not want to discuss our financial statement in the media in the same manner you did with the correspondence we are responding to. The EFF has one of the best financial control systems and has thus far been able to almost excellently account for each and every cent at its disposal. The reports of Parliament, the IEC and Provincial Legislatures will illustrate and confirm the reality that the EFF is a movement with strong internal controls, and as a signatory of EFF accounts since they were opened, you are supposed to be aware of this reality.
When we adopted the NPA Agenda, Rules and Procedures, we also adopted the NPA Committees. Amongst these committees was the Steering Committee, whose overall responsibility would be to deal with issues of disputes and NPA processes. You particularly were aware throughout that disputes could be brought to the Steering Committee for intervention. You never did so, and never brought to the attention of the leadership that there are areas of concern.
We are currently not aware of the reasons why throughout the preparations for the NPA and during its sittings on the 13th to the 16th December 2014, you did not raise the concerns you are raising now. You were available for Top 6 position and you did not reach the threshold hence you were not elected, and we can legitimately conclude that in your world, everything is wrong simply because you were not elected and no longer occupying senior leadership responsibility.
As the National Co-ordinator, you had ample time to raise these issues and bring them to the attention of the leadership collective, yet you did not do so. You cannot claim to could have been intimidated or scared of a peaceful meeting and environment that the National People’s Assembly was, because you also as a Fighter, are a trained Soldier of UmKhonto weSizwe who spent time in Robben Island as a Political Prisoner for years. You recurrently state that you are fearless and never afraid of any situation, and your fearlessness could have given you the courage to raise issues prior to at the National People’s Assembly.
You were also part of the Press Conferences in-between the National People’s Assembly, which collectively said to the media and people of South Africa that all is well. Again, we can avail video recordings to you to remind you that the press conferences you were part of contradict what you claim in your letter and at no stage did you bring to the attention of anyone that you are dissatisfied.
We hope that these responses will assist you, and please take note that loyal and disciplined members of the EFF do not engage with internal organisational matters in the manner you did. We are aware that the recourse you threaten in your letter is Court, and we are more than ready to explain and justify all the decisions taken by the CCT, War Council and NPA to the courts of the country.
We also wish to advise that you should desist from creating imaginary complaints and send what are supposed to be internal organisational matters to the media. We are not interested in entering into a media spectacle about issues that by nature are internal. We are now aware that after you sent the letter to The Citizen Newspaper, you sent text messages to members of the EFF, encouraging them to read The Citizen. We are also aware that you called the Mail & Guardian to ask that they should write negative stories about the EFF leadership.
Now that you have fuelled negative perceptions in the media and amongst members of the EFF on the internal matters of the organisation, you leave us with no option but to make this response public. We do so because we do not want the negative perceptions you generated about the EFF to remain unchallenged.
The conclusion to the Organisational Report you presented to the 1st National People’s Assembly says, inter alia, “The time is now for all EFF members to re-imagine the future with boundless potential. This growth will be realisable if all members of the organisation can learn that disagreements which are bound to be there cannot be allowed to destroy the unity of the organisation because at the inception of this organisation we made a holy covenant with the people of our country and we adopted the 7 cardinal pillars that bound us together with them”.
The letter you sent to the organisation, provincial leaders and media on the 15th of January 2015 does not have this principle and instead underpinned by innuendos that deliberately seek to undermine the unity of the organisation. I have personally worked side by side with you from the beginning, and never thought that as an Activist and Fighter, you will degenerate into throwing negative labels on the organisation and casting aspersions about this leadership.
As the legitimately elected leadership of the EFF, we have not lost hope and trust in you and many other members who could not be elected into any leadership position. You remain my brother, and comrade, and we encourage you to approach the leadership and constructively raise and register your concerns.
We remain unshaken, resolute and will never undermine nor surrender the struggle for economic freedom. We are a generation of economic freedom fighters!
Revolutionary regards and best wishes for the year ahead,
Letter from Julius Malema, EFF President.