It was 'very nice, sweet and hot': EFF on Malema's tea date with Zuma

Amanda Khoza Presidency reporter
Former president Jacob Zuma and EFF leader Julius Malema wear big smiles as they enjoy a cup of tea at Zuma's Nkandla home.
Former president Jacob Zuma and EFF leader Julius Malema wear big smiles as they enjoy a cup of tea at Zuma's Nkandla home.
Image: Twitter / @EFFSouthAfrica

EFF national spokesperson Vuyani Pambo would not be drawn into spilling the tea over party leader Julius Malema's meeting with former president Jacob Zuma in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, on Friday.

Addressing the media afterwards, Pambo seemed to revert to sarcasm to describe the much talked about event.

“The meeting went very well. The tea was nice and sweet and very hot. You know that the practice of having tea is such that it is a slow process and you cannot just gulp it, like you drink other things,” said Pambo.

Joining Zuma and Malema was an entourage which included Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina, the EFF's former chairperson Dali Mpofu and the ANC's Tony Yengeni.

The EFF arrived in a helicopter shortly after 1pm and left Zuma's multimillion-rand home at about 4pm. 

When asked what prompted the meeting, facilitated by Masina, Pambo simply said, “The [EFF] president met with former president Jacob Zuma over tea.”

Asked whether the former president would now appear before the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture to testify, he said he could not speak on Zuma's behalf.

“I am the spokesperson of the EFF and I am here to simply tell you that the tea went well.”

He would not be drawn on the constitutional and legal aspects of Zuma's case. Malema had requested the tea date after Zuma's announcement that he would not heed the orders of the highest court in the land and appear before the Zondo commission.

“As I explained, it was a meeting over tea. It was a very nice tea that we had with the former president and you know that black people do not need permission to meet. They can meet any time, anywhere we want to.”

Pambo said both leaders had a “constitutional right” to meet.

When asked if Mpofu attended the meeting in his personal or professional capacity, Pambo said, “He came as a plus one ... as I did as well, and that is why we are here.”

He added that “the tea meeting was about the tea. They had tea together. It was a meeting between the former president and the commander-in-chief. There was no agenda and as you know the meeting invite said, let's have tea, and that's what they did.”

There was no discussion about anything “that the media is imagining. So let's stop with the gymnastics of speculation and trying to be prophets. [Prophet Shepherd] Bushiri is no longer here, so let's not try to replace him.”

When pressed to tell the nation what had changed because Zuma and Malema were known to have a long and turbulent history, Pambo told the media that it did not form part of the meeting.

“We came here to have tea with the former president and did we not do that? And that's what we did.”

He added that if Zuma wanted to invite Malema for tea, Malema would not need the party's permission to do so.

“The only thing that has changed is that the commander-in-chief of the EFF, Julius Malema, has met with former president Jacob Zuma for a cup of tea. Something that's unprecedented, like coronavirus.”

He said there were no negotiations on the table. “The agenda was tea,” insisted Pambo, adding that Malema simply honoured Zuma's invitation.

Asked about the mood of the meeting, he replied: “As I said, the tea was very nice, and sweet and hot. The mood of the meeting was a very nice one, it was very cordial. It was a meeting of black people.”


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