EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu. Picture: Nhlanhla Phillips/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town - The EFF faction lobbying to remove deputy president Floyd Shivambu from the party’s executive received a boost this week when he was served with a summons to appear in court on an assault charge.

His Cape Town Magistrate’s Court appearance for the alleged assault on journalist and photographer Adrian de Kock outside Parliament in March last year will take place eight days before the EFF’s elective conference starts.

Unnamed EFF sources said there was a growing call to topple Shivambu during the conference at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Joburg between December 13 and 16.

A source requesting anonymity revealed that Shivambu was supposed to receive the summons at his Cape Town attorney’s office on Thursday.

But when he failed to arrive the summons to appear on December 5 was served on his attorney Wickus Steyl.

This is not the first time Shivambu has not co-operated with the police.

Earlier in the year he evaded police attempts to obtain a warning statement.

Steyl confirmed receiving the summons and promised a response from either himself or Shivambu but then failed to deliver.

“I’m talking to Floyd, will get back to you asap,” he said in a WhatsApp message.

Filmed by other journalists, Shivambu’s alleged assault came after De Kock refused to delete photographs he had just taken of the politician. In the footage he appears to grab De Kock by the throat and try to take his camera.

In an EFF statement issued afterwards Shivambu admitted to a scuffle but denied he assaulted either De Kock or impinged on media freedom.

“I regret the incident and believe it should have been handled differently.

“I take full responsibility and apologise for engaging in a scuffle with a person I discovered after the incident is a journalist,” Shivambu said.

“I will write and email an official apology on the scuffle because I believe it was not supposed to happen.”

Weekend Argus