Zuma Malema EFF

Former President Jacob Zuma and EFF leader Julius Malema enjoy a cup of tea at Zuma’s Nkandla residence. Photo: EFF

‘We came for the tea, that’s all’: EFF mum on Malema’s meeting with Zuma

Journalists were left seething after EFF spokesperson Vuyani Pambo refused to spill the tea about the highly anticipated meeting.

Zuma Malema EFF

Former President Jacob Zuma and EFF leader Julius Malema enjoy a cup of tea at Zuma’s Nkandla residence. Photo: EFF

The highly anticipated meeting between EFF leader Julius Malema and former President Jacob Zuma has concluded, with Malema and his entourage seen heading to the chopper that flew them to Zuma’s Nkandla home in dramatic fashion earlier on Friday. 

Malema and a delegation of fellow EFF members arrived at corruption accused Zuma’s homestead at around 11:30 and left a large media contingent – many of whom flew to the former statesman’s home from across the country – hopelessly in the lurch as he left without so much as an acknowledgement just before 17:00. 

‘We had no agenda, only tea’ 

EFF spokesperson Vuyani Pambo emerged from Nkandla compound after the two men had been inside the controversial premises (which was built using taxpayer’s money and was received by the public with widespread condemnation) for over five hours. 

Much attention has been afforded to the widely publicised meeting, with the arrangement to enjoy a cup of tea together made directly after Zuma announced his intention to defy the Constitutional Court’s order that he appear at the State Capture Commission. 

Instead of any insight into why the two men had met, or what they spoke about, Pambo offered only this: 

“The tea meeting was about the tea. There was no agenda at all, there was no discussion about any other thing that you may be imagining. Let’s stop with the gymnastics of speculation and trying to be prophets. [Self-proclaimed Prophet Sheperd] Bushiri is no longer here so let’s not try and replace him.” 

Vague detailing of meeting leaves journalists disappointed  

Journalists – who must have been wondering whether Malema might be spending the night at his former comrade’s house given the amount of time he was spending with him –  were understandably livid at Pambo’s cagey, deflective response to their straightforward requests for information about what was discussed. 

When pressed further, Pambo said the the media had not been invited to Nkandla and should not be disappointed when precious little information about an event his own party’s leader referred to as a matter of “national interest” wasn’t forthcoming. 

“Right now we are taking you into our confidence when we tell you that we came here to have tea – very nice tea. That’s what we did. If the former President wants to invite the Commander in Chief to tea [reciprocally] we will see about that,” he added. 

“Black people do not need permission to meet. We meet anytime, anywhere, as is our Constitutional right,” he said. “We came here to have tea, as we were invited to – unlike you.”