EFF walks out of The New Age breakfast

15 May 2014 - 10:52 By Sapa
EFF Gauteng premier candidate Dali Mpofu, left, with Julius Malema
EFF Gauteng premier candidate Dali Mpofu, left, with Julius Malema

The EFF walked out of a televised breakfast briefing hosted by The New Age (TNA) on Thursday because it was "hoodwinked" into attending, the party's Dali Mpofu said.

"Normally we would not have been invited here to this breakfast before the elections. Now elections are over, we are invited here," he said before he and other Economic Freedom Fighters members walked out.

"We were invited here on the basis that we were going to be part of the panel. I think that somebody got a fright at Luthuli House [ANC headquarters] and we've now been told that we are not going to be on the panel."

He went on to attack The New Age, ANN7, and the SABC, who broadcast the debate live on SABC2, saying it was being used by the ANC.

"The problem is if institutions like The New Age, ANN7, and SABC are going to be used... then all that must be factored into our performance [in the election] because the entire machinery of the state was used against us [in the run-up to the election," he said.

Mpofu said because of the false information by TNA, the EFF would walk out of the briefing.

"Because we were hoodwinked to come here and participate... and then it didn't happen, to show you what kind of protest politics we are going to combine with parliamentary politics, we've decided to walk out of this breakfast right now for that purpose."

The host of the show Ayanda-Allie Paine interrupted Mpofu and said it was going to an advertising break.

"This is for the purposes of advertisers and not to get rid of you. Please do sit down and enjoy breakfast with us," she told him.

Mpofu replied: "I'm sorry we have to go."

The group of about six members, brightly clad in red EFF attire, then stood up and briskly walked out to the astonishment of guests, shaking hands with some.

Afterwards, Paine explained why the EFF had not been allowed to be a part of the panel.

"We did invite all major players, the top four [political] parties. Some refused to come. It would not have been fitting practically," she said.

"We wanted to have all or nothing."

Thursday's breakfast did not include political parties on the panel. Political analysts, including Steven Friedman and Adam Habib, were part of the panel and spoke about the 2014 elections, previous elections, and what the results meant for some parties.