Julius Malema, leader of the EFF, says his party is not ashamed to be associated with alleged cigarette smuggler Adriano Mazzotti. Mazzotti gave the EFF party money to register as a political party with the Electoral Commission (IEC).
“We are very proud of Adriano Mazzotti and are not ashamed to associate with him. We don’t know his business because he’s not our business partner,” Malema said.
Speaking during the EFF gala dinner hosted on Thursday evening at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg, Malema said Mazzotti gave the EFF R650,000 to register with the IEC. At that time, the EFF party had no money, and Mazzotti came through.
HOW ADRIANO MAZZOTTI HELPED EFF
“When the IEC asked us to pay the money, Floyd and I had nothing. We looked at each other and said: ‘What is going to happen?’ They asked for R650 000 and we had no means. Later, Mazzotti called and said, ‘brother, the money is paid’, and we knew we are good to go. That is how the EFF was allowed to contest the first election in 2014,” said Malema.
Malema said that Mazzotti donated money to EFF just like everyone else who had bought tables at the gala dinner. According to Malema, it is not in their interest to know what everyone does for business and emphasized that it was not a secret that Mazzotti donated money.
In his speech, Malema told the guests not to worry because Mazzotti has never been arrested, nor has he been charged with any criminal offences. “Do not be scared that we are part of anything Mazzotti does. Mazzotti has never been arrested, neither has he been charged,” he said.
EXPENSIVE DINNER TABLE
The EFF leader also fired a jab at those who questioned the R1.2m price tag for the platinum table. “For those who’ve got an ear and access to them, tell them Malema’s table was sold three times more than we had expected,” Malema said.
Earlier on, some people had questioned who was going to buy a table at R1.2m for the EFF fundraising dinner. The fundraising gala dinner sold tables to allow businesspeople and the public to interact with EFF leadership.
The EFF leader’s table with his wife Mantoa sold for R1.2 million, while other tables sold for R750k, R500k, and R250k.