The EFF has been warned that other political parties may use the parliamentary ethics committee’s verdict against its deputy president Floyd Shivambu to strip the party of voters ahead of the general elections next year.
THE EFF has been warned that other political parties may use the Parliament ethics committee’s verdict against its deputy president Floyd Shivambu to strip the party of voters ahead of the general elections next year.
This is after political analysts said other parties could take advantage of the verdict and use it against the EFF to attract more support from the ground.
The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests on Monday sanctioned Shivambu for not disclosing an amount of R180,000 he received in three separate payments from Sgameka Projects – a company owned by his brother, Brian Shivambu.
Brian was listed as having received an unlawful R16 million payment from the now-defunct VBS Mutual Bank. It has been reported that some of the money was channelled to Sgameka Projects.
The EFF, which looks to be giving the governing party ANC and its opposition DA a good run for their money, is currently the third-largest party, with 44 seats in the National Assembly.
The EFF confirmed it would take Parliament to court to overturn the joint committee’s “irrational and opportunistic conclusion and sanction”.
The party said the conclusion that Shivambu received a donation that was not declared is utterly false and not a reflection of reality.
Following the release of the report on Monday, the DA’s chief whip, Siviwe Gwarube, welcomed the findings, adding that Shivambu’s failure to declare monies received through VBS cast doubt on all public statements he had made about this matter.
“We trust that law enforcement agencies will be reinvigorated in their hunt for the truth,” read the statement.
North West University (NWU) director of the School of Government Studies, Professor Kedibone Phago, said the verdict against Shivambu was presented in a way that could negatively affect the EFF’s performance during the elections next year.
“The ANC understands that it shares some of the floating voters with the EFF, and it would be in its favour to pursue the VBS Mutual Bank money scandal in cases such as this one, where it is not seen involved in corruption.
“In other words, while we know that many of the ANC cadres have also personally benefited from VBS scandal money, they would rather put all the VBS scandals at the EFF’s door.
“It appears that this is a calculated strategy to keep EFF focused on this matter during the campaign period since they would likely be contesting with EFF on more or less the same electorate, especially in terms of race and class,” Phago said. “We are yet to see this kind of phenomenon with smaller parties.”
Meanwhile, political analyst Levy Ndou also warned that other political parties might use this for their own gain.
“The issue of Shivambu will depend on how other political parties and the society respond. But what is at the heart of the report is that the committee found that there was money that was deposited into his account, and it was not declared. Those are the rules of Parliament that should be followed by everyone.
“As to how it will affect the EFF, it will actually depend on whether other opposition and political parties will love to use that for their benefit,” he said.
But according to political analyst and governance expert Sandile Swana, Shivambu and the EFF would not be affected because the committee confirmed that the matter had already been in the public domain for a while.
“The fact that the committee has made the decision now does not change that the public and the voters have known that there were transactions between Shivambu and Brian.
“So the findings did not bring anything new other than the fact that they have confirmed he failed to disclose those transactions. For that reason, the political capital of the EFF and Shivambu is not undermined at all,” he said.
Another political analyst, Professor Sipho Seepe, said this would not affect the EFF’s performance in the polls.
He said the party’s support depends on multiple factors ranging from what the party stands for, its track record, promises, its sizea and the believability of its campaign.
Seepe said: “Shivambu has threatened to subject the decision under judicial review. Although doing so will keep the story in public space, there is a risk that failure to challenge the outcome would undermine attempts by the party to project itself as being committed to political morality.”