- EFF Chief Whip celebrated his 36 birthday
- Julius Malema and thousands of South Africans took to Twitter to wish him well
- Shivambu had a busy 2018 involving a plenty of controversy
Well wishes and blessings flooded Floyd Shivambu ’s social media on 1 January as he celebrated not just the new year but also his 36th birthday. Among those congratulating Shivambu on another successful year was the Economic Freedom Fighters’ Julius Malema, who took to Twitter to express his gratitude for his EFF comrade.
Shivambu thanked Malema and the thousands of social media users who wished him a happy birthday for the love and support before also wishing his followers the best for the new year.
The tweet which was liked over 2000 times, shows that Shivambu is an influential and beloved leader.
Although just 36 years old, the deputy president of the Economic Freedom Fighters and Parliamentary Chief Whip has had a long and controversial role in South African politics.
Shivambu was the spokesperson for the African National Congress Youth League until he was suspended for his participation in the saga that arguably gave rise to the Economic Freedom Fighters party.
In 2011 Shivambu was suspended from the ANC after verbally attacking a BBC journalist over a discussion about regime change in neighbour country, Botswana. Shivambu detached from the ANC and joined EFF.
Shivambu and the EFF have gained popularity and support due to their outrageous, frank and often offensive comments and publicity stunts. Because it is these kinds of controversies that keeps South Africa on its toes (and EFF in parliament), Briefly.co.za breaks down the five most published scandals of Floyd Shivambu's career.
Five Shivambu scandals that shook South Africa in 2018
- H&M stores trashed, rubber bullets fired
Shivambu hit the road running in January after he and the EFF encouraged South Africans to trash H&M stores following a racist advert published by the clothing company.
While South Africans had every right to be outraged, Shivambu allegedly used the opportunity to cause chaos and spew violence, all in the name of politics, reported Daily Maverick.
Shivambu tweeted, “Well done to Fighters who physically confronted racism.” The physical confronted involved stores being damaged and rubber bullets being fired. 17 H&M later closed 17 stores in South Africa, wrote Daily Maverick.
2. Attack on Media24 journalist, Adrian de Kock
Having apparently not learnt from the first incident involving a journalist, in March Shivambu was filmed outside parliament attacking a journalist.
Adrian de Kock was covering Patrica de Lille’s disciplinary hearing when he attempted to photograph the politician. Shivambu insisted that the photos be deleted. The video of the incident shows Shivambu physically attacking de Kock, reported TimesLIVE.
3. Arrest for speeding
In August, just a couple of months after the Free State National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) asserted that they were getting serious about traffic violations, Shivambu was caught going 60 km faster than the speed limit. He was later released on bail.
4. Racism towards Indian community
In June, Shivambu made headlines for undermining treasury official and struggle hero Ismail Momoniat’s position owing to him being Indian and not ‘black’. Shivambu claimed that Momoniat’s roles as a treasury official presence “undermines African leadership,” reported City Press.
The country did not take this lightly and condemned his comments and would later discover the reason for Shivambu's attack on Momoniat, which brings us to the VBS scandal.
5. VBS saga
Momoniat was investigating the failure of VBS bank. As Shivambu was involved in the saga, he lashed out at Momoniat, reported Daily Maverick.
A report published by the South African Reserve Bank in October showed that Shivambu's brother, Brian Shivambu, received millions in irregular payments which led to the bank’s collapse.
The EFF received 1.3 million from his brother while Floyd received an easy R10 million. The Mail and Guardian reported that Shivambu's company was just a front to send EFF money.
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