EFF leader Julius Malema has received a lot of backlash on Twitter after saying that Duduzane Zuma and his twin sister, Duduzile, were not proper South Africans during a no-holds-barred radio interview with Tbo Touch’s Touch HD.
It all started when Malema said Duduzane, who is in business with the controversial Gupta family accused of state capture and corruption, was not loyal to South Africa, and it was easy for him to pack up and flee the country.
The firebrand leader’s remarks got tweeps wondering whether children of other ANC struggle stalwarts who were born in exile were also unpatriotic and not so-called “proper South Africans”. Some Twitter users even questioned whether Malema was xenophobic.
“They can’t speak any of the South African vernacular languages. Duduzane is not a proper South African,” Malema said on Thursday in his interview with the internet radio station.
“They [Duduzane and Duduzile] were born in Mozambique, stayed in Swaziland and then Zimbabwe. They came to reside here [in SA] with their father.
“For Duduzane to leave the country, it’s very easy because they don’t have a history of settling in one place … Their loyalty and patriotism is not with SA, that’s why that boy could do as he wished because it’s not his country of birth, they were not born here,” he added.
ANC national executive committee member Tito Mboweni challenged Malema and warned him to be careful with his public statements. Mboweni said he had a son born in Lesotho during his years in exile, and considered him to be very much a South African.
He tweeted: “So Mr Julius Malema, my homeboy, says that our kids who were born during our exile years are not ‘real South Africans’. One of my sons was born in Lesotho when I was in exile. So…. Be careful homeboy of what you say. My son is as South African as all other kids. Be careful [sic].”
Prominent advocate and author of The Land is Ours, Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, came to the CIC’s defence and accused Mboweni of being a “coward” in exile. Ngcukaitobi tweeted: “You people were cowards. Ngeke usitshele ukuthi [you won’t tell us that] you fought for your country while you’ll were watching Rambo in the Bush of Zimbabwe [sic].”
You people were cowards. Ngeke usitshele ukuthi you fought for your country while you'll were watching Rambo in the Bush of Zimbabwe.
— Not Adv Ngcukaitobi (@AdvNgcukaitobi) March 1, 2018
Here’s what other tweeps had to say on Malema’s comments:
So children of #ANC comrades born in exile when their parents were fighting for freedom r unpatriotic ¬ proper South Africans? I disagree
— tumelomalesa (@malesatj) March 1, 2018
You are kidding,right? You always blab about documentation. If they stayed in exile long enough to be a citizen and are so awarded, why does that make the persons less of a patriot?
Why is Duduzane a yardstick?
— Zexit (@AAkpakan) March 1, 2018
— wmutahi (@wmutahi) March 1, 2018
Wait till he gets to explaining children of mixed race!
— Jack Devnarain (@JackD157) March 1, 2018
Since Julius doesn't know (allegedly) his father, how do we know if he is indeed as South African? Where was Julius's loyalty when he loot Limpopo govt? Where is Julius's loyalty when his party accepts donation from Adriano Mazzotti, who is alleged to dodge tax & smuggle Cigarr
— Oupa Mahosi (@EMahosi) March 1, 2018
Hee bathong maybe lenna I need proper here. If you are born in Zimbabwe but come to SA immediately after birth, are you not a Zimbabwean by birth?
Because in your case malome I would say your kid is Lesothoean by birth, South African by say default (for absence of a proper word)
— Made_In_Limpopo (@Mokgalapa_619) March 1, 2018
I am so confused. Am I South African cos I was born here but not South African cos I am white. Malema really is confusing me.
— Vanessa Edmunds (@VanessaEdmunds) March 1, 2018