Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema took to Twitter late on Sunday night to slam former president Thabo Mbeki’s reaction to SA ambassador to Denmark Zindzi Mandela’s recent contentious tweets on the topic of race and land.
“Mbeki also seems not to be retreating his assault of the Winnie Mandela household,” Malema alleged.
“What was wrong with him just saying he has no knowledge of what Zinzi Mandela said? He could not say this because the Winnie Mandela household must always be put to its place: a place of docility,” he continued.
This follows a statement from the EFF, written by the party’s spokesperson, Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, criticising the former president, who according to Ndlozi “failed with flying colours to resolve the land question” while in charge of SA.
“Essentially, the former president comments on things happening on the ground which he has no knowledge of, true to his aloof self,” the statement said of Mbeki’s reaction to Zindzi’s tweets.
According to Ndlozi, the tweets were the “genuine cry of many generations of African people who want to call this country their own”.
He believes Mandela was correct in her assertion that white South Africans were the beneficiaries of stolen land, stating that “in essence, black people do not need the consent of white people to take back their land. This is because, even by international law, colonialism is an unforgivable crime against humanity.”
In a story in Sunday Tribune, it was reported that Mbeki had called for action to be taken against South Africa’s ambassador to Denmark, Zindzi Mandela, should her tweets on land be found to be contradicting President Cyril Ramaphosa’s stance.
He was quoted as saying: “There’s no ambassador who represents themselves and if Zindzi Mandela’s tweets are inconsistent with what the president is saying, then that cannot be allowed. The president I know has been very insistent on this, that land reform must be done on a constitutional and legal basis and such amendments of the constitution are to clarify the circumstance in which you would expropriate land without compensation.”
Minister of International Affairs Naledi Pandor told 702 last Monday morning that she had reprimanded Mandela for her recent series of controversial tweets in a phone call, in what was the first confirmation that the tweets, which came from an unverified account, were actually sent by Zindzi.
Zindzi, the daughter of former president Nelson Mandela and struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, divided Twitter with a series of tweets that began with: “Dear Apartheid Apologists, your time is over. You will not rule again. We do not fear you. Finally #TheLandIsOurs.”
The tweet led to criticism from some white South Africans on Twitter. This led to a series of increasingly strongly-worded tweets, using the hashtag #OurLand, which inspired outrage from some and support from others, dividing Twitter along mostly, but not entirely, racial lines.
These included a tweet about “trembling white cowards” who are the “thieving rapist descendants of Van Riebeck [sic]” and one saying that Zindzi was “wondering how the world of shivering land thieves is doing” while out “wining and dining” at a restaurant.
In response to the tweets, AfriForum called for Pandor to recall Mandela-Hlongwane as ambassador. The DA backed-up the calls for her removal on Tuesday, and the Freedom Front Plus (FF+) called on the government to take action against her.