Mpumalanga Members of the EFF who allegedly ditched their party to join the ruling party claim they were coerced into participating in the ANC “ritual” meant to convert them from EFF members to ANC members.
The ritual was a well-publicised event that the ANC staged at Mbombela stadium on March 19 to parade some EFF members who had allegedly defected to the ANC.
At the event, EFF members were asked to tear up their party uniforms publicly, sign ANC membership forms and finally take the ANC oath that will bind them to the party.
One of the EFF members from Pienaar township near Mbombela, Busi Matsane, who was involved in the ANC ritual claimed it was against her will, adding that she and fellow EFF members were lured to the event centre for vague reasons
According to Matsane, she received a token of R15 airtime by a member of the EFF, Nomvula Magagula, to inform and persuade other EFF members to be present at an event which the party’s secretary general Godrich Gardee was supposed to address.
Following the mandate, she mobilized seven EFF members and supporters to fill a minibus that took them to the venue of the meeting.
Matsane also narrated that on their way to the meeting, Magagula called and told her that when the reach the place of contact, they should endeavor to accept and do whatever is asked of them.
“When we arrived at the Mpumalanga government complex we were given brand-new EFF T-shirts, but the designs of the T-shirts were different from the official EFF T-shirts and the colours…were not the same as EFF colors.”
Later that day, they drove to the Mbombela stadium and discovered people dressed in their ANC-T-shirts and to their utmost surprise, they were informed that the ANC was welcoming them into their fold.
“They ordered us to take off and tear up the EFF T-shirts that had been given to us earlier in exchange for the yellow ANC T-shirts. I was wearing my original EFF T-shirt, which I did not want to lose, so I managed to hide it in the minibus, because I was wearing a vest underneath,” she said.
Matsane said that one EFF member who was not in their group tried to resist, but she was forced to take off and tear up her own original EFF T-shirt, while the others just tore up the allegedly fake EFF T-shirts that they received earlier.
Meanwhile, even with the way ANC members outnumbered them at the time, two of the EFF members from her branch managed to sneak out from the place as it was clear to them that meeting was not for the EFF.
Matsane could have done the same but due to the fact that she could not afford to pay for her transport back, she decide to sit through it all.
Mpumalanga EFF leader, Collen Sedibe described the incident as, “a sign of desperation from their (ANC’s) side because no organisation can mobilize people in the name of another. If they were genuine, they would have used their own organisation and leaders”.