Warren Mabona
2 minute read
31 Mar 2016
5:51 pm

ANC member apologises for ‘criticising Malema’s graduation’

Warren Mabona

Senior ANC member Khusela Khawe on Thursday apologised for making comments on twitter that were viewed by some people as criticising EFF Julius Malema’s academic achievement.

FILE PICTURE: EFF leader Julius Malema. (Photo by Gallo Images / Beeld / Felix Dlangamandla).

Malema graduated with a BA degree at the University of South African (UNISA) on Wednesday night. Prior to his graduation, Khawe tweeted in her personal
capacity: “He is not the first (person) to graduate (through) distance learning. In the ANC it’s the norm.”

She added: “We are setting the bar too low if we are going to celebrate, 22 years into democracy, a BA at 35 years old. This is mediocrity at its best.”

Although Khawe did not mention Malema’s name, she irked some twitter users who responded with rage. This was partly because Malema is also 35 years old and his graduation was celebrated by many members of the public at UNISA’s headquarters in Pretoria.

In response to Khawe’s comments, Similo Silwana tweeted: “How many youth league members are you encouraging to take up higher education studies?” He (Malema) has turned the tables.”

Another twitter user Lady K asked: “If it’s a norm (to graduate in the ANC) why hasn’t your president done the same thing?”

Khawe on Thursday tweeted: “I unreservedly apologise for the tweet that offended many yesterday. I have and continue to value progression of black child and lifelong learning.”

Reacting to Khawe’s apology, political analyst and renowned academic Dumisani Hlophe posted: “Humility is the mark of leadership. That’s great. I was about to spank you. But then, your humility saved you. Well done.”

Khawe declined to comment when asked to provide more details about her apology and whether she was referring to Malema.

Khawe was one of the ANCYL leaders who publicly defied the ANC and supported Malema after he was expelled from the ruling party in April 2012. She was the league’s head of communications at the time. The league turned against Malema in November of the same year after the latter publicly clashed with then acting president Ronald Lamola.

The ANC and the EFF could not immediately be reached for comment.

warren@citizen.co.za