The mood in Parliament was mostly congratulatory toward the victorious Springboks on Tuesday, but EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi doubled down on sentiments he tweeted after their World Cup victory when he said “die Bokke must fall” in his speech.
In an impassioned speech, Ndlozi vehemently rejected what he called a “racial parade” of “collective emotional abuse”.
He went on to describe himself as being part of a generation who he said, “will say, without a shadow of a doubt, without any apology, that die Bokke must fall”.
Parliament sat on Tuesday, a day after the Rugby World Cup champions had concluded their trophy tour in Cape Town, to pay tribute to them.
On either side of Ndlozi taking the podium, the chief whips of both the ANC and DA – Pemmy Majodina and Natasha Mazzone – spoke proudly of the green-and-gold.
Majodina spoke passionately in Xhosa idioms, praising the Boks for having re-established themselves as a powerhouse rugby team.
‘SA needed the win’
“You have written yourselves in the history books and you have united a nation. May this win be a symbol of what we can achieve,” said Majodina.
Mazzone, meanwhile, said “the leaders of the Boks are heroes in every sense of the word”.
“Other nations wanted to win, but South Africa needed the win,” she added.
Ndlozi, though, took aim at the Springbok symbol, to boos from some of the opposing benches.
“The EFF has long called for total decolonisation of all public symbols. This underlies our inability to join in on the fake celebration of the Springboks because the springbok is a sign that cannot be whitewashed.
“It stands in parallel continuity with Die Stem entrenching white supremacy in our society. That is why the rugby team in question is white dominated,” said Ndlozi.
Delivering his address with notable intensity, he was jeered by MPs for some of his statements to the point that National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise had to call members of the House to order.
Ndlozi continued that “people agree that rugby has not transformed and it is not about to transform”.
“So what exactly are we celebrating?” he asked.
“The white community, to this day, has not recognised the humanity of black people. They refuse to this day to accept that 25 years on, only one Makazole Mapimpi has made it from rural rugby in the Eastern Cape where there are more black rugby players than white people combined in South Africa.
‘Collective emotional abuse’
“Siya Kolisi had to go to a white school otherwise he would have not seen the light of day in the World Cup,” said Ndlozi.
He called on “all black people to refuse the emotional abuse that the ANC government is subjecting us to”.
“It’s a collective emotional abuse. This racial parade is a complete emotional abuse of our people and it is an emotional abuse to a people who have given too many cheeks to racism and they no longer have any cheek to give any more.”
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