Furore after IFP MP says Mandela didn't ‘free’ him

2015-07-16 19:59
Former president Nelson Mandela. Picture: Son

Former president Nelson Mandela. Picture: Son

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Cape Town – IFP MP Mkhuleko Hlengwa is being lambasted on Facebook over his comment to a newspaper about Nelson Mandela.

Hlengwa was quoted by Isolezwe in Durban as saying: “Mandela did not free me because he was arrested.”

Hlengwa is the leader of the IFP Youth Brigade.

The comment caused a stir on his social network timeline, where he was criticised and accused of being ignorant. Some of the people who criticised Hlengwa are prominent members of the ANC in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature. 

Pastor Vusi Dube, a prominent pastor and member of the ruling party, commented: “This is the most stupid comment ever read from... a so called politician.”

Another member of the legislature who uttered his dismay about Hlengwa’s comment is Jomo Sibiya: “Poor Mkhuleko Mangaliso Hlengwa I expected a lot from a young person of your age, sadly I was wrong. It's tough to be an IFP member... The way you think is so impoverished to the worse levels. When you are unable to see the truth, that is known worldwide [sic].” 

IFP spokesperson Joshua Mazibuko declined to comment and told News24 to direct all questions to Hlengwa.

“He is a grown man, I suggest you ask him about his comment,” said Mazibuko.

Hlengwa did not seem to worry about the comments on his Facebook page, but explained that all he did was ask a question. 

“All I did was to ask a question. How does a prisoner free his people, when he himself needs to be freed?”

Hlengwa said he did not doubt Mandela’s role in the struggle.

“I respect him for the role he played during apartheid, but if we want to understand our history we need to begin to ask difficult questions so that we understand.

"All I did was to ask a question and if people are failing to engage me properly about that, I will not entertain cheap politics,” he said. 

Hlengwa said he was speaking to the youth in Ulundi during the Ulundi Youth Summit on Monday when he asked the question about Mandela.

Read more on:    ifp  |  nelson mandela  |  durban  |  politics  |  media

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