EFF rejects call by AfriForum to fire Zindzi Mandela over 'white people' tweets

Zindzi Mandela. Photo: Argief
Zindzi Mandela. Photo: Argief
Photo: Argief

The EFF has rejected a call by lobby group AfriForum to have ambassador to Denmark Zindzi Mandela fired over her recent controversial tweets.

EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the party placed its full support behind Mandela, adding that the call by AfriForum was "racist" and seeking to suppress a legitimate open cry by the "African child that land must be returned to its rightful owners, the black people".

"No African child must ever be suppressed or even threatened with losing any job or privileges for speaking the truth about the land. The land question must be resolved for a true decolonisation of our country to happen. Without the land, political freedom is futile and will soon be a joke. 

"There is nothing racist by stating the correct fact that white people drove a racist project of land dispossession called colonisation."

Mandela caused a stir when she tweeted: "Dear Apartheid Apologists, your time is over. You will not rule again. We do not fear you. Finally #TheLandIsOurs."

ALSO READ: Nelson Mandela Foundation ‘won’t meet with Zindzi Mandela’ over tweets

The ANC resolved at its Nasrec conference to have land expropriated without compensation, a policy the EFF has been advocating since its inception in 2014, but provided it doesn't affect food security and growth.

Meanwhile, the Freedom Front Plus has insisted that the government takes action against Mandela for her "racist and divisive" tweets. 

"Ms Mandela apparently does not see the irony of the fact that she is launching an attack on white people in her own country from a successful Eurocentric country by disparaging them as "land thieves and Apartheid apologists" who are like 'those uninvited visitors who don't want to leave'," FF Plus leader Pieter Groenewald said.

Groenewald said Mandela owed all South Africans an apology and that making such statements outside of South Africa's borders did not indemnify her from accountability. He added that the statements could not be justified by Mandela saying she made them in her personal capacity.

"Any statement made by a high-profile government official on a social media platform for all the world to see cannot be labelled private. Until now, the ANC government has opted to look the other way when black politicians openly attack white people and incite racialism," he claimed.

Groenewald said the ANC government could not remain silent about Mandela's comments, as it would send a message of its approval of "racist rhetoric" that was detrimental to race relations in South Africa. 

"In the interest of all peace-loving South Africans, the FF Plus will not just let this go. Ms Mandela must be called to account for her irresponsible behaviour," he said.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Tuesday said it also believed that Mandela’s divisive comments were strong enough basis for her to be recalled as ambassador.

"According to the code of conduct, an Ambassador may not communicate any view without the express permission of the Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, Naledi Pandor," said DA International Relations spokesperson Darren Bergman.

"As an ambassador your private views are limited by the obligation to uphold and further the best interest of South Africa. Therefore, the recent tweets from the official Twitter account of South Africa’s Ambassador to Denmark were either endorsed by the Minister, or were in contravention of the code of conduct, which is grounds for recall."

If it's confirmed that Ambassador Mandela was the author of the tweets, and that she did not receive approval to express these views or to travel, she must be recalled immediately, Bergman said.

ANC KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Sihle Zikalala shot down calls for Mandela to be punished, IOL reported on Monday.

*This story has been updated to include the DA's comments.

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