EFF MP Naledi Chirwa. Image credit: African News Agency (ANA)
By BO Staff Writer
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leaders have defended their party MP Naledi Chirwa after her nationality was challenged on Twitter in a discussion sparked on Sunday by “Lerato Pillay“:
“One day I will make a thread on how Malawian Naledi Chirwa’s family fraudulently obtained South African citizenship. I will also shake the tables and expose their involvement in Nyawupe/whunga business in South Africa,” the twitter user said.
Many have reminded EFF leaders Julius Malema, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and Veronica Mente that they are defending Chirwa against accusations that they had previously leveled against Malusi Gigaba, who was home affairs minister at the relevant time.
The EFF had in the past questioned Gigaba’s nationality after Vytjie Mentor a former ANC MP accused him on social media in 2017 of being Zimbabwean and suggesting that Gigamba was his original surname. Mentor further dared her followers to prove that Gigaba was able to speak isiZulu for over an hour.
By accusing ANC’s leader Gigaba of being a foreign national, the EFF had opened the door for the nationality of it’s own leaders to be questioned, it was argued on social media. In a 2018 video clip that re-emerged on Twitter on Sunday, EFF MP and Deputy President Floyd Shivambu is seen interrogating Gigaba:
“What is offensive when people ask you about your nationality? It happens every day like when you apply for a visa and people always ask about your nationality about where were you born.
“Is it not an opportunity to clarify where were you born and where your father was born?”
Gigaba replied: “What is offensive about it, honourable chairperson, is I know for a fact that the source of your question is as malicious as the extensive vilification campaign to which I have been subjected for political reasons.
“I find it malicious. It would be fine if the honourable members started by telling us who they are and explain what their concerns are before asking who I am.”
— Kgothatso (@Kay_Gee22) March 8, 2020
A further video, where EFF President Julius Malema accused Duduzanne and Duduzile (the children of President Jacob Zuma) of not being born in South Africa and not being able to speak isiZulu, also resurfaced on social media.
— ✨Mrs S✨ (@Feather_Ruffler) March 9, 2020
Black First Land First (BLF) President Andile Mngxitama sharply called out the lack of ideological perspective, hypocrisy, and inconsistencies of the EFF. Taking to social media he said:
“The Naledi Chirwa saga is the EFF’s politics coming back to haunt them. They have no ideology. Everything is vulgar opportunism, hence the flip flopping. When they attacked Gigaba calling him a foreigner, what did they think they were doing? Pan Afrikanism? Without ideology and principles it’s just a reactionary mess!“