Marshall Dlamini

EFF leaders Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, Marshall Dlamini, Floyd Shivambu and Julius Malema at the high court in Pretoria
Photo: Oupa Mokoena / African News Agency (ANA)

Marshall Dlamini rumoured to become new EFF secretary-general

It is said that a man by the name of Marshall Dlamini will be named as the new EFF secretary-general at its elective conference on Friday 13 December 2019.

Marshall Dlamini

EFF leaders Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, Marshall Dlamini, Floyd Shivambu and Julius Malema at the high court in Pretoria
Photo: Oupa Mokoena / African News Agency (ANA)

Rumour has it that a man by the name of Marshall Dlamini is set to replace Godrich Gardee as the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), secretary-general at its elective conference in Nasrec on Friday 13 December 2019. Are you superstitious?  

According to amaBhungane, the name Marshall Dlamini first came up in the last year, in connection with dubious tenders in Johannesburg and Tshwane. He also made headlines for allegedly assaulting a security official in Parliament at the State of the Nation Address (Sona) in February.

Those close to Malema are reportedly lobbying hard for Dlamini to replace Gardee. 

Marshall Dlamini brings in EFF votes 

Dlamini is from uMzimkhulu in KwaZulu-Natal and is credited with building the party’s support base in that province. The EFF more than quadrupled votes from around 70 000 in 2014 to well over 300 000 in this year’s elections.

After the elections, the EFF profiled Dlamini on Facebook, saying: “According to Commissar Marshall Dlamini, the work in KZN was a collective effort and delivered by the ordinary ground forces of the organization…He thanks the people of KZN, firstly for opening their homes while we were doing door-to-door campaigns and speaking to them as individuals. Secondly, for believing in our message by voting for us and says we are committing to never fail them.”

Marshall Dlamini a businessman  

Dlamini’s background is in business, construction and plant hire in particular. According to one former EFF MP, Dlamini was hesitant about taking up a formal party position because that would mean giving up promising business interests.

He eventually ended up taking the political plunge, while, it appears, also hanging on to a level of involvement in business, melding the two craftily and very successfully.

Marshall Dlamini said to be manipulating metros 

Dlamini is accused of tender rigging and manipulation in metros where the EFF had a strong political foothold.

According to amaBhungane’s findings, Dlamini requested officials to intervene in a metro’s internal legal matter. This showing that Dlamini had an improper insight into information that no politician, least of all an MP, should have been involved in.

The investigative piece about a dodgy Johannesburg fleet tender showed that the company that won the contract paid ‘kickbacks’ to a Malema slush fund, presumably in return for leaning on officials.

A former senior city executive also claimed that he was asked to meet with Dlamini at a Sandton hotel, where Dlamini told him that they wanted the fleet tender to go to “a company that works with us.”

Hendrick Kganyago, the owner of the company that won the bid, Balimi Barui Trading,  allegedly paid Malema and Dlamini-linked companies at least R15m.

Dlamini-linked company 

That Dlamini-linked company is DMM Media and Entertainment, which shares a name and logo with Dlamini’s DMM Holdings. 

DMM Media’s director, 30-year-old Wesley Dlamini, has also listed working for Eyethu Translodge and Plant Hire, a company that Marshall founded.

The Daily Maverick separately traced Dlamini to efforts by EFF Deputy President, Floyd Shivambu to convince high net-worth businessmen to sponsor personal business ventures.

Dlamini’s relationship with the EFF 

Dlamini’s relationship with the EFF goes back to the party’s earliest days. Two former EFF sources say that Dlamini was close to murdered ANC Youth League secretary-general, Sindiso Magaqa.

Dlamini was among the EFF’s founding members when the party launched at Uncle Tom’s Hall in Soweto in 2013.

In 2015 he made it into parliament and he was also appointed as the party’s commissar for economic development, a fitting position for Malema’s favoured fixer.

And now the political chatter suggests that he is in the running for one of the highest formal positions in the party- secretary-general.

Dlamini is depicted as a man who is reserved by the standards of his party, with a sharp business sense, an obsessive eye for detail, and mastery in the art of the political hustle.