An apparently random tweet by EFF leader Julius Malema appears to suggest that he “lost respect” for a woman who called party spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi a rapist over what was actually a political disagreement.
I lost respect for her the day she called @MbuyiseniNdlozi a rapist because they disagreed politically, so what she tweets matters not 2 me
— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) August 22, 2016
The tweet was not in response to a question and had Juju’s followers furiously speculating about who he might have been referring to.
One follower guessed that he meant ANC Women’s League president Bathabile Dlamini. Others picked Ntsiki Mazwai, Peace Mabe and even Simphiwe Dana
Atul (@Roxino_Lemza) said Malema was speaking a lot in code nowadays and people would have to do their own research to figure out what he meant.
Earlier this month Malema tweeted a screenshot of an apparent apology from one of Ndlozi’s alleged accusers, accompanied by the words “Be warned boys.”
The man who he said had accused Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Mbuyiseni Ndlozi of rape and murder had apparently retracted his statements “without reservation”, but only because of an apparent legal threat by a top lawyer.
Malema tweeted a screenshot from ANC supporter Thami “Cool Razo” Mthimkhulu’s Twitter account apologising to Ndlozi. Mthimkhulu said: “I retract without reservation all defamatory tweets I posted suggesting that Mr Ndlozi is a rapist and murderer. I apologise to him for all the harm caused by my tweets.”
Be warned boys pic.twitter.com/G1Kz7nBR4B
— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) August 11, 2016
It’s unclear whether Mthimkulu really was responsible for the Ndlozi rape rumours and why he apologised. When The Citizen sent an email to him for comment, his response to what was going on was only: “I can’t tell you why, because I will be the only one who gets a lawsuit when you publish the story.”
A look through Mthimkulu’s Twitter timeline, however, suggested that he was contacted by Ndlozi’s lawyer, Eric Mabuza, and made to apologise.
At the start of 2015, the media was given the “lead” that Ndlozi had possibly raped a woman (and even had her killed) during the party’s first elective conference in Bloemfontein.
The allegation surfaced via a Twitter account called @ANC_Branch, which was later deactivated. The account claimed “Commissar Mbuyiseni Ndlozi is attending a court case for rape.”
At the time, the story seemed intriguing because Ndlozi had been replaced by an acting spokesperson in the form of Hollywood actor Fana Mokoena. When the media requested comment on the allegations, we were told by the EFF in a statement that Ndlozi was not actively involved in his party role while doing work on his PhD thesis.
“Commissar Mbuyiseni Ndlozi is on study leave, working on his PhD thesis, and will come back as head of communications and spokesperson on the 1st of February 2015,” the party said at the time. He did duly return to work and the allegation seemed to go nowhere.
Mokoena also denied these allegations, saying the ANC was trying to ruin the “great” future of the spokesperson.
The rape allegation resurfaced briefly on Twitter again last month ahead of the August 3 elections and Ndlozi again denied all the rumours, saying: “ANC Philistines with uncircumcised hearts are trying to tarnish my name but they will never succeed. Because Lies have short legs! Salute!” he said.