DA MP gets backlash for moaning about ANC and EFF MPs singing struggle songs

The DA's Belinda Bozzoli.

The DA's Belinda Bozzoli.

Belinda Bozzoli claimed ‘non literate forms seem to matter more than clever words and well crafted arguments’.

Following the convening of the first session of the sixth parliament of South Africa, Democratic Alliance (DA) member of parliament Belinda Bozzoli took to Twitter to express her annoyance at the ANC’s “singing of struggle songs”.

“ANC trying to ‘claim’ Parliament as their own by using a recess to dominate the Chamber through sound. Their persistent and relentlessly deafening singing of struggle songs is really irritating,” she tweeted.

“They have no idea that this is, and is fully intended to be, a shared place for the exchange of ideas and opinions. In seeking to dominate it they [are] essentially being undemocratic,” she continued in a second tweet.

Bozzoli’s annoyance increased when the EFF joined the singing.

“Now they are exchanging gestures during song with the EFF. You can see how irresistible the call of nationalism is. Its symbolic and non literate forms (songs, dance, gestures) seem to matter more than clever words and well crafted arguments,” she said.

The tweets received quite a backlash, with more than 300 replies to the initial tweet.

Writer Sisonke Msimang told Bozzoli she “should be ashamed of” herself.

“This song belongs to all South Africans – black and white. It speaks to the sacrifices that were made so you can sit as an MP in a democratic South Africa. You should be learning the words, not getting angry,” Msimang continued.

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The ANC’s Annelize van Wyk responded by saying she had been in SA parliament for 12 years and was “proud of its vibrancy and character”.

“The DA seriously needs a social media policy!” she continued.

Other Twitter users called Bozzoli “out of touch”, “insensitive” and “tone deaf”. One user accused the tweet of having “racist undertones”.

Some responded by suggesting Bozzoli should leave South Africa, with one user even offering to buy her tickets to Europe.

Bozzoli’s tweet about the EFF joining in, meanwhile, received criticism in particular for its use of the term “non literate” and her suggestion that EFF and ANC politicians were using song as an alternative to “clever words”.

“The shocking thing is that this statement coming from a DA individual is actually not shocking. The DA lost votes to FF+, so it is expected they will attempt to provide ground for the racists to return,” one user responded.

In response, Bozzoli claimed her tweets were misunderstood and referred those who had criticised them to an “extended piece” she had written on PoliticsWeb “on why nationalism has distorted and warped our society”.

Apart from being an MP, Bozzoli is also the DA’s “shadow minister” of higher education and training, the DA’s political head of Boksburg, and a professor of sociology, according to her Twitter bio.

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