Durban - The EFF in KwaZulu-Natal said it is pursuing fraud and corruption charges against five of its former councillors in eThekwini Municipality who were expelled from the party on allegations that they embezzled party constituency funds.
EFF provincial chairperson Vusi Khoza told Independent Media that the party had laid charges against the proportional representation (PR) councillors and that “police are investigating”.
“We are talking in the region of about R480 000 which was constituency money that came from the eThekwini council meant to be handed over to the party, but it was diverted to their personal accounts.
“We charged them internally and we found them guilty. The process of expelling them started six months ago and it ran until last month,” said Khoza.
Khoza said the alleged fraudulent activities started after the councillors were sworn in after the 2016 local government elections.
“We have since replaced them, and the new councillors would be sworn in on May 29. There was no need for by-elections since they were PR councillors,” said Khoza.
Khoza was among eight EFF members who were sworn in as MPLs at the provincial legislature in Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday. Previously the party had him and former provincial chairperson Vukani Ndlovu as MPLs, but Ndlovu was not nominated to return to Parliament.
Khoza said Ndlovu would be redeployed to other party responsibilities.
“He is still an active member of the EFF as he was not in the party because of the deployment.
“We have got a lot of work that needs to be done, as we have got a lot of deployment that are ready, and we will make sure that he is deployed wherever,” he said.
He said the party would now have a stronger voice in parliament since its MPLs had grown from two to eight - there were four women and four men - “which means we take seriously the issue of gender parity”.
He said the growth of MPLs meant more time would given to the party during parliamentary debates.
“We used to be restricted in terms of time as we used to be given one or two minutes depending on proportional representation, but now we are going to have more time and are going to engage more on issues, we are going to debate more with a louder voice which is going to have more impact,” he said.
He gave an assurance that the party would not be chaotic during the sitting of the parliament.
“We want to correct the misunderstanding that EFF is chaotic. We are robust and energetic and we are going to engage in a robust and energetic fashion on all issues.
“We want to complete our mission on the issue of land, we are going to pursue the issue on in-sourcing of security guards and in-sourcing of all the workers and make sure that tenders are no more. We are going to make sure that there is no work that is done by tenderpreneurs and that the government work is done by officials employed by the state,” said Khoza.