The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) was on Sunday mum on widespread news reports quoting content of an explosive book which claims that its deputy president, Floyd Shivambu, was cosying up to Johann Rupert, a man the party has indirectly branded as a political and economic manipulator.
Independent Media made several attempts to speak to Shivambu himself, the party’s spokesperson, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and the party communications manager, Sixolise Gcilishe but all those attempts yielded no results.
The attempts included written messages, calls from a landline and cellphone and still there was no response. Unlike in some instances in the past where the party used its social media accounts to defend itself, this time around the party had not said anything, with the last update on its twitter account being about the party’s 6th birthday celebration in Tshwane on Saturday.
According to Sunday news reports which are based on a book titled The Stellenbosch Mafia: Inside the Billionaire's Club which was written by Pieter du Toit, Shivambu spent an afternoon at an exclusive wine estate in Stellenbosch discussing potential business plans with Rupert.
The book also alleges that Shivambu asked for assistance to build a hospital in Limpopo, his home province and afterward he allegedly accompanied the CEO of Remgro (a company owned by Rupert), Jannie Durand, to the Remgro-owned Fleur du Cap wine estate which produces a number of wines for local and export market.
Critics have since claimed that this was enough good enough to show that the EFF and its leadership was captured by white monopoly capital.
In the same book, it was claimed that Shivambu gave Rupert an insight into the bruising ANC leadership battle ahead of the party's 2017 conference held at Nasrec and told him that Ramaphosa, a man who is seen as pro-business would win the contest against Dr Nkosazana Zuma-Dlamini.
Shivambu is alleged to have developed a close relationship with the man so much that he advised him to polish his image by doing an interview with Power FM.