Mon. Jan 25th, 2021

Floyd Shivambu in hot water after suspicious WhatsApp messages revealed

Floyd ShivambuThe amaBhungane investigative team have reported that Floyd Shivambu is receiving “cash interventions” from multi-millionaire Lawrence Mulaudzi.

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The EFF Deputy president Floyd Shivambu is being accused of concealing payments he received from a well-known businessman after a series of WhatsApp messages were uncovered by the amaBhungane investigative team.

They claim that he had agreed a series of “interventions” – a term used to describe cash donations – with millionaire Lawrence Mulaudzi, who also made a contribution to the Brian Shivambu-owned Grand Azania company.

Why Floyd Shivambu could find himself in trouble

Brian, Floyd’s brother, is heavily implicated in the VBS banking scandal and has been accused of scoring up to R15 million in illicit funds from the now-defunct institution. The EFF’s second-in-command could find himself in trouble, as he failed to declare to Parliament any other financial interests he has apart from his salary as an MP.

This is not legal in the eyes of the National Assembly, and it’s entirely possible that Shivambu may have to face an ethics committee if Parliamentary officials follow up with these allegations.

One source suggested that the “interventions” to Shivambu were part of a pattern of Mulaudzi providing favours to decision-makers and influencers to keep that funding pipeline flowing. The businessman has faced pressure himself recently, after revealing to the PIC inquiry that he’d received a R3.6bn loan from the pension fund.

What messages did Floyd Shivambu send and receive from Lawrence Mulaudzi?

21 February 2017: “Bru this guy on left Edward Phasha we need Red boys to help reign in on chrome at Marula.” – Mulaudzi’s associate, Kinesh Pather, indicated he wanted Floyd and the EFF to help stop a mining protest.

27 March 2017: “Heita… Please don’t forget to activate that intervention. Am in great need.” – Floyd Shivambu approaches Mulaudzi for a cash injection.

15 May 2017: Shivambu writes: “Heita… Are you winning? There is a great need for urgent intervention”. Then, three days later: “Heita… Are you winning on that intervention?” – To which Mulaudzi replies: “I’m still struggling with my private bank. It’s sitting in 32-day index.” 

Proof is in the receipts

The amaBhungane report also claims to have proof that the messages feature Floyd Shivambu’s number, email address, bank details and private photos of the EFF bigwig, proving that the contact saved as “DP FS” stands for “Deputy President Floyd Shivambu”.

His failure to declare an interest to Parliament would suggest that there are some financial transactions Shivambu is attempting to conceal. With just 48 hours left until South Africans go to the polls, these allegations come at the worst possible time for the EFF, as they look set to increase their voter share.

Floyd Shivambu is yet to respond to the allegations.

The amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism, an independent non-profit, produced this story. Like it? Be an amaB Supporter to help them do more.

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