A tweet on Monday evening from EFF MP and former EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi elicited a flood of comments, the majority of them critical.
Ndlozi had tried to make the point that the Covid-19 lockdown was done for white people and that it had supposedly served its purpose in “white spaces” and “they” were now apparently wanting their “cheap and easily disposable black workers [to go] back to work!”
Ndlozi has been a conspicuous part of the EFF’s ongoing call to keep the country in lockdown until new coronavirus infections can be brought down to very low levels – and only then should a reopening of the economy be considered. Numerous experts have, however, advised that the virus is likely to peak and spread regardless of any lockdown strategy or its stringency and that the initial lockdown succeeded only in buying some time for hospitals and healthcare workers to prepare for treating patients.
Ndlozi wrote an opinion piece in The Sunday Independent earlier this month in which he predicted that “millions” would die from Covid-19 due to the lifting of the lockdown, despite even the most pessimistic current models from epidemiologists not getting anywhere near such a figure.
He and others in the EFF have accused President Cyril Ramaphosa and his government of allegedly putting the needs of big business ahead of the lives of South Africans, and therefore ushering in the “looming apocalypse”.
Ndlozi, however, appeared to receive only scattered support for his latest view, which was variously critiqued and dismissed as being racially divisive, ignorant of the fact that black people are not uniformly in favour of a perpetual lockdown and that the lockdown itself is also likely to lead to loss of life by exacerbating poverty on an even greater scale.
The EFF MP was, further, repeatedly reminded of the relative comfort he enjoys, allowing him to remain in lockdown on a parliamentary salary, while income and even a guaranteed meal for many others is not nearly as assured.
Some even went as far as to question how it was possible for Ndlozi to have attained a PhD, a common insult directed at him whenever he ventures to say something his detractors don’t appreciate.
He was also mocked for allegedly no longer being within the inner circle of EFF leader Julius Malema and that he was reaching desperation point to find relevance and thus simply resorting to “trash talking” and being petulant, throwing “tantrums”.
His tweet had generated more than 400 comments already within the first two hours of being posted.
Take a look at some of the many reactions below.