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Why journalist Pauli van Wyk will never be part of Malema's 'PR exercise'

Daily Maverick and others have been banned from attending EFF gatherings and she says his opportunistic invitation gets a hard no.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema objects as South African President Cyril Ramaphosa attempts to deliver his State of the Nation Address at Parliament in Cape Town on 13 February 2020. Picture: AFP

Malema was trending on Twitter on Thursday after he announced that he has invited five journalists to interrogate him publicly on the VBS Mutual Bank saga.

This all came about after SABC senior political journalist Samkelo asked the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) at a media briefing whether they would be going after Malema and other EFF members in relation to the VBS scandal.

Malema then issues the invitation, and after being prompted by his son, agreed to invite investigative journalist Pauli Van Wyk, who along with the media house she works for The Daily Maverick, Amabungani and others were banned from attending EFF gatherings and press conferences.

He then added: "3: Upon advice of my son, who insisted that if Pauli van Wyk is not amongst these 5 journalists, it will look like I have something to hide. I have spoken with EFF and requested that she must also be allowed to form part of this public interrogation session of myself on anything!"

But Van Wyk says she will never agree to do so.

You must remember, the Daily Maverick, which I write for, and amaBhungane our other investigative team has been banned by the EFF and Mr Malema specifically because we wrote about VBS.

Pauli van Wyk, Investigative journalist - Daily Maverick's Scorpio unit

He publically banned us, and he must publically unban us - because we cannot have a fascist or a party that has this movement against the media - and when it pleases them they ban us, but when they want to have a PR movement and when they are panicking about arrests coming, they suddenly want us at their beck and call.

Pauli van Wyk, Investigative journalist - Daily Maverick's Scorpio unit

Journalists are independent she says.

I am not going to be called by politicians for a PR stunt.

Pauli van Wyk, Investigative journalist - Daily Maverick's Scorpio unit

He called me Satan, and dishonest and I was accused of having romantic relationships with the people investigating VBS and called all things bad.

Pauli van Wyk, Investigative journalist - Daily Maverick's Scorpio unit

She says she emailed him all the questions she wanted answers.

He did not answer one question. he denied everything, apart from name-calling. Now he suddenly, for some reason, wants to call the media and say ok, ok let me explain.

Pauli van Wyk, Investigative journalist - Daily Maverick's Scorpio unit

She believes this is a panicked response to impending arrests.

Listen to Pauli van Wyk's response below:

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Why journalist Pauli van Wyk will never be part of Malema's 'PR exercise'