EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu says he has no relationship with one of South Africa's richest men, Johann Rupert.
Taking to his Twitter page on Sunday evening, Shivambu stated he had never asked for organisational or personal assistance from the businessman. He said he maintained that white monopoly capital remained a "primary enemy in the war for freedom".
This after reports that the party's deputy had met with Rupert at an exclusive wine estate in Stellenbosch to discuss business.
News24 reported on Sunday that despite the party and Shivambu's ideological stance on white monopoly capital and Rupert, Shivambu had asked the Remgro chairperson and the founder of FirstRand Bank, Gerrit "GT" Ferreira, for assistance to build a hospital in Limpopo.
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The revelations of the meeting came to light following the release of a new book by News24 assistant editor Pieter du Toit titled .In the book, Du Toit delves deep into a world almost exclusively occupied by the country's richest men.
In support of its deputy, the EFF, in a statement issued on Sunday, said in 2017 it had noted reports suggesting its deputy president had a "cosy relationship" with Rupert, saying that year he was requested by an association to assist it with obtaining funding to build a hospital.
The party said Shivambu then wrote to Mediclinic, which Rupert is also in business with, to organise a meeting with their representatives, which included board members of Mediclinic and Remgro.
Following a State of the Nation Address debate in Parliament by Shivambu in February 2018, where he had cautioned President Cyril Ramaphosa that the fact that white monopoly capital was excited over his election as a president was a cause for concern. He thereafter received a text message via SIGNAL messenger from Rupert.
EFF national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the message contained a video clip that showed Shivhambu saying "white monopoly capital is too comfortable with the president and he should be worried that the likes of Stephen Kosheff, Brian Joffe and the Ruperts are happy with him".
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"The text message underneath the video clip sent on February 20, 2018, by Johann Rupert read as follows, 'I have not looted anything and am very disappointed in you for this BS. Thought you were more honourable and intelligent than this. Goodbye and good luck'."
Ndlozi stated Shivambu replied and said: "You need to surround yourself with people who understand political dynamics and articulations."
Diversion from Public Protector report
This resulted in Rupert's reply: "I have known many people much older than you like Steve Biko and Madiba, and they never treated me with such disdain and disrespect. Furthermore, as my very old friend Jabu told you when you said that you are 'watching him' because I have Lewazi a break 10 years ago, as head of the taxi association, you should watch it."
Shivambu responded: "We are not and have never claimed to be your friends. Your ill-gotten wealth, which was accumulated because you are white and because there was apartheid, has to be challenged. We will not rest until we have reclaimed what rightfully belongs to indigenous South Africans. Interacting with you never meant that we are friends.
"You must never contact me again as well and we will continue to expose the criminal capitalist system, which you preside over. If you went around telling people that we are friends, then you misled them. I am not one of the puppies who surround you and always say 'yes baas' when you speak to them."
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Ndlozi said the party had seen the exchange of texts and no other further meeting was held with Shivhambu about the project.
He added such revelations were a way of trying to divert the public's attention from the fact that Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane had made findings on Ramaphosa and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. "White monopoly capital remains the primary enemy in the war for economic freedom and in the struggle to change the lives of our people. We will never bow down to white supremacists who use their control of the economy to subjugate black leaders to their control.
"Media sources that seek to suggest that there is a cosy relationship with the Ruperts are misplaced and false," he said.
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