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Journalist Marianne Thamm: Here's why I dug through EFF's trash for a story

In her piece on Daily Maverick, Marianne Thamm revealed how the EFF allegedly rented a villa priced at between R7,100 and R25,000 a night during the Sona period.

FILE: Marianne Thamm at The Gathering event on 23 November 2017. Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - How far were you willing to go to get evidence for your story?

Daily Maverick journalist and columnist Marianne Thamm came under fire on Wednesday for going through piles of trash from a luxury Cape Town guest house to get evidence against the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leadership.

In her piece on Daily Maverick, Thamm revealed how the EFF allegedly rented a four-bedroom luxury Camps Bay villa priced at between R7,100 and R25,000 a night during the State of the Nation Address (Sona) period in June.

"I think that if you are a public official and particularly running on a ticket of economic redress and you are fighting for the poor and check into a guest house that cost you R60,000 for eight nights and that money goes straight into a foreign owner. I checked all this out and you put your trash out because you had a lekker party, then you are fair game," she told 702's Eusebius McKaiser.

Among the items found in the seven of 14 refuse bags, which she packed into her car and subsequently dug through, were bottles of expensive alcohol, H&M clothing store tags, condoms, and a business-class flight boarding pass with EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi's details on it.

Thamm explained that she was only able to load seven of the 14 bags into her car and took them to a separate location where she got witnesses to help her unpack them.

"We found items that link a member of the EFF to the house in Camps Bay. That is Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi. The booking was made by the CIC's [Julius Malema] bodyguard. I found lots of expensive alcohol, tobacco, leftover food, used and unused condoms."

When asked why she hasn't gone through other politicians' trash and if this was planned, Thamm said: "This didn't involve planning. I don't go around looking through trash. I am too busy."

Listen to the audio below for more.

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