EFF national chairperson Dali Mpofu took to Twitter on Thursday to thank kwaito star Eugene Mthethwa for a post taking ANC members to task for “being mean” to singer-turned-politician Ringo Madlingozi, who is now an EFF MP.
“Thank you [cadre] Eugene,” Mpofu responded. “Only fools can laugh at the political bankruptcy of those who seek to mock the presence of a cultural giant such as Ringo in our parliament.”
According to Mpofu, those mocking Ringo “can’t grasp the roles” of other musicians in “our struggle”, mentioning Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Caiphus Semenya, Letta Mbulu, Mzwakhe Mbuli, Blondie Makhene and Jonas Gwangwa.
Mthethwa’s post expressed that the kwaito star – himself an “ordinary ANC member’ – felt “disgusted” by the “reaction of our elders and leaders in the ANC” for their treatment of Ringo, which he says highlights what he resents about how SA artists are treated in general.
Picking on Madlingozi, Mthethwa says, shows “immaturity and political intolerance”.
“Their reaction towards him really embarrassed me when as a country, regardless of our political affiliation, we need to rally behind the president of the Republic of South Africa in building a better country for all,” Mthethwa wrote, adding that President Cyril Ramaphosa “declared that he is the president of all people regardless of political affiliation”.
The full post can be read below.
Thank You Cde Eugene
Only fools can laugh at the political bankruptcy of those who seek to mock the presence of a cultural giant such as Ringo in our Parliament
They can't grasp the roles played by Makeba,Masekela,Semenya,Mbulu,Mzwakhe,Blondie,Gwangwa & others in our struggle pic.twitter.com/plaFebmLgP
— Dali Mpofu (@AdvDali_Mpofu) May 23, 2019
To be honest, I felt disgusted by the reaction of our elders and leaders in the ANC, they did what I resent about the…
Madlingozi had been outspoken in his support for the EFF over several years, appearing at an Africa Day celebration hosted by the party last year, after which he declared the EFF to be his political home on Twitter.
“When I was young, I used to cry when I would meet poorer people than me. I never knew there were people who truly would love, protect, and fight for the downtrodden.
“Now I’m fearlessly at home with @EFFSouthAfrica. Let’s unite and change our lives, SA. We live once,” he tweeted.
His decision to enter politics as a member of parliament – appearing as a surprise inclusion on the EFF’s list at number 39 – already appears to be welcomed by his fellow MPs, with some already making it clear that they aren’t about to let him get away with being in parliament without putting his singing skills to good use.
At the convening of the first session of the sixth parliament on Wednesday, while the MPs were waiting for secret ballots to be brought in to vote for the speaker of the house, one MP asked: “While we’re sitting here can Ringo Madlingozi please fill in the gap?”
Others joined this call, including ANC MP Jackson Mthembu, who called out: “Cula, Ringo.”