Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema was met with a backlash after sharing photos on Thursday from a braai for the Springboks hosted by billionaire businessman Johann Rupert.
“The owner of South Africa had a braai with the real Springboks team at his place,” Malema tweeted along with laughter emojis.
The pictures shared by Malema, as was pointed out by numerous Twitter users, appear to have been carefully chosen to make it look like only white members of the Springboks team were present at the braai.
One of them shows white team members RG Snyman and Eben Etzebeth – who has been at the centre of controversy due to assault and racism allegations which surfaced before the Rugby World Cup – having their photo taken with Rupert.
Malema was soon called out for his selective choice of photographs, including by Twitter users who posted pictures of black team members Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira and Trevor Nyakane with Rupert at the same event.
One such tweet was accompanied by the caption: “[Because] these pictures [don’t] fit your agenda?” while the other said: “Your politicians are liars.”
Other users were also not supportive of Malema’s tweet, accusing him of “intentionally sowing divisions”, and saying the tweet was a “lie” intended to “mislead millions of South Africans”.
“Politicians just want to divide us and make us hate each other so that they can be relevant,” said another.
One response brought up an incident in which the EFF were ridiculed and accused of hypocrisy on social media for offering their guests Rupert and Rothschild wine at a gala event, co-produced by none other than “owner of South Africa” and sworn enemy of the EFF, Johann Rupert.
Another user responded with a picture of Malema with self-confessed tobacco smuggler Adriano Mazzotti, who has funded the EFF, as well as other characters including self-confessed hitman and alleged underworld character Mikey Schultz, along with the caption: “We all have interesting mates…”
The EFF’s lack of enthusiasm over the World Cup victory has been made clear, with Malema endorsing sentiments expressed by EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, who called the celebrations following the win an example of false unity in one of a series of tweets that have been met with controversy.
The party has also lashed out on numerous occasions against Rupert, with Malema once claiming that they were his “only nightmare“, although EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu has been accused of having “a close relationship” with Rupert in News24 journalists Pieter du Toit’s book, The Stellenbosch Mafia.