South Africa: From Red T-Shirts Hawker to Multimillion-Rand Transaction Adviser

President Cyril Ramaphosa congratulates new finance minister Tito Mboweni after his swearing-in (file photo).

At just 30 years old, Brian Answer Shivambu has enjoyed a spectacular career and achieved significant economic freedom. In a few short years, he went from being the EFF merchandiser-in-chief to earning R16-million in a single year as a transaction adviser to Vele Investments, the majority shareholder in VBS, the bank looted so comprehensively that it had to be placed in curatorship.

According to EFF president Julius Malema, Brian Shivambu worked for the EFF as an in-house entrepreneur who gave their merchandise - like the red beret, the red overall, T-shirts and the red doek - more swag than a Louis Vuitton handbag. Malema revealed this at a two-hour long press conference on Tuesday.

Like modern political parties, merchandise is everything, and Malema said the younger Shivambu had helped the party develop a line. Then, he left the party's headquarters to establish stalls on campuses where he sold branding targeted at what the party calls its "student command". The EFF is a growing force on campuses across the country and Brian helped get student leaders into the red with his knack for merchandise.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Malema said it was unfair that the...

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