In a statement on Monday, Black First Land First (BLF) leader Andile Mngxitama called out EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and the party’s leader, Julius Malema, for their stance on the Springboks winning the Rugby World Cup.
Ndlozi in particular has taken flak for his comments on Saturday that were roundly dismissive of the Springboks’ achievement, ostensibly because black people in South Africa continue to be oppressed and so should therefore not support the national rugby team, which was once considered a symbol of apartheid and black exclusion, but is now at its most integrated, including having a black captain.
Mngxitama, however, who once worked closely with both Ndlozi and Malema as one of the EFF’s policy wonks – particularly in the writing of the party’s policies on land – said the leadership of the EFF had allegedly “been posing as agents of transformation by making several critical statements”. Mngxitama was expelled from the EFF in 2015.
He said: “This is synthetic outrage meant to placate the woke section of the black population while deflecting attention from the sleaze that the EFF leaders are in, including the looting of VBS. This kind of fake outrage is in the long run harmful to the black agenda and must be called out.”
He asked how it was possible for a party that had given political power to the “racist Democratic Alliance” to express outrage about the lack of black representation in the national rugby team.
“When Helen Zille praised colonialism, the EFF said that it was not reason enough for them to pull out of the coalition with the DA because it’s the better devil. When the same DA had admitted to have taken money from the corrupt Markus Jooste, there was no call by the EFF to pay back the money, as they had done with President Zuma.
“It gets worse. When the DA MP Dianne Kohler Barnard called for the return of the mass-murdering apartheid president PW Botha, it was yet again not reason enough for the EFF to show genuine outrage against racism and move away from the DA. And of course it had no problem with making common cause with the likes of the Freedom Front Plus (FF+) against Zuma. We won’t ask the reds of London about that.”
He said the EFF had “long ceased to be the spokesperson of the black race. Their leaders dine with Johann Rupert at night, then go to Twitter in the day to blast the SA Rugby team. It’s part of how they project themselves as crusaders of change, when in fact they are not. Their outrage against racism are the antics of con men.”
Mngxitama was also critical of the racial make-up of the Springboks, saying it was not representative enough of South African demographics, but that the EFF were the last ones with the right to complain about it.
“Twenty-five years into democracy, the team looks like Europe, just like the DA does. One can’t be in bed with the DA, but castigate the Springboks. This is posturing by con men. It won’t help to ask the brothers in red what they think of Louis Vuitton because that’s the brand they worship. We won’t even ask about their gluttony annually during the horse race of thoroughbreds – the Durban July Handicap.”
Mngxitama was more complimentary of poet Ntsiki Mazwai.
“Ntsiki Mazwai‘s criticism of the Springboks is honest and consistent. It’s the type of criticism that has the potential to bring more black people to critical consciousness towards the black agenda. We need to bring integrity back to black political practice. Charlatans and pseudo revolutionaries must be relentlessly exposed.
“Where is the agitation for Land Expropriation Without Compensation (LEWC) in parliament? The Springbok captain, Siya Kolisi, never claimed to be a revolutionary for transformation. Where was the outcry in parliament when Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth was selected to represent South Africa at the RWC despite allegations of racism and assault against him?”
(Edited by Charles Cilliers)