Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema has accused the Inkatha Freedom Party in KwaZulu-Natal of sex-for-jobs practices, mismanagement of municipal funds, and tribalism.
Malema was speaking during the KwaZulu-Natal leg of the Ground Forces Forum, which was held at the Royal Showgrounds in Pietermaritzburg.
Malema also instructed the EFF and deputy president Floyd Shivambu to ensure that the IFP’s Zululand District mayor, Thulasizwe Buthelezi, was removed.
“We must remove anything that is IFP, where we have the power. They are threatening people and intimidating everyone; they will never do that with the EFF,” he told the rally.
The IFP and the EFF worked together to form governments in at least eight local municipalities in KZN after the 2021 local government elections, but the marriage of convenience ended in an abrupt divorce earlier in 2023. As early as September, the EFF, through Shivambu was coveting the IFP again before Malema’s extraordinary outburst at the weekend.
“The IFP and EFF will play very important roles in forming a government that will not be led by the ANC in next year’s general elections... so unity in the IFP is very important,” said Shivambu.
At the memorial service of IFP emeritus president Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, former EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi spoke glowingly of the IFP, telling President Velenkosini Hlabisa to keep the party intact so that it helps the EFF make history in KZN and at a national level after next year's elections.
IFP spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa, in a terse statement, said: “Over the past few hours, we have been inundated with media enquiries to react to utterances by EFF leader Julius Malema at a rent-a-crowd event held in Pietermaritzburg this past weekend. As a general rule, asiwuphenduli umsangano (we don't respond to nonsense),” he said.
Other claims against the IFP made by Malema include that IFP officials were engaging in sex-for-jobs practices and that they were abusing bodyguards to the detriment of residents.
On the sex scandal and mismanagement, Malema said: “We must make sure that we guard the IFP properly where it governs. Everywhere the IFP governs, there is financial mismanagement and sexual scandals.
“In every municipality governed by the IFP, they don't hire people through qualification; they use tribalism and sexual favours; dunusa uthole umsebenzi (bend over and get hired); that is the policy of the IFP,” he said.
In February, an IFP councillor in the Alfred Duma Local Municipality was accused of using a month-to-month contract to get sex from women desperate to keep their jobs. He was criminally charged.
In March, the IFP recalled the mayor of the Abaqulusi Municipality and a councillor in the Alfred Duma Municipality over sexual remarks made and a sex-for-jobs scandal respectively.
On the issue of bodyguards, Malema said there were IFP officials in rural municipalities who were hiring scores of bodyguards. During his address, he claimed, without naming the municipality, that in one municipality, 14 bodyguards protected a mayor, eight for a deputy mayor, and nine for the speaker.
“We must make sure they don't hire lots of bodyguards for themselves at the expense of our municipality. If there is a threat, let there be a driver and a bodyguard. How can a mayor of a rural municipality have 14 bodyguards? And then what's going to happen to the money supposed to hire and look after our clinics? We cannot hire bodyguards to look after the most useless people,” said Malema.
Meanwhile, Malema also announced the EFF would launch its election manifesto at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban in February next year.