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Jeered for praising ANC at state event

Hlengiwe Mhlaba won the best classic of all time award at the 6th annual Crown Gospel Music Awards held at the iNkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, Durban. Photo: Veli Nhlapo
Hlengiwe Mhlaba won the best classic of all time award at the 6th annual Crown Gospel Music Awards held at the iNkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, Durban. Photo: Veli Nhlapo

Award-winning gospel artist Hlengiwe Mhlaba was booed by a crowd when she used a government event to campaign for the ANC in Mpendle in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands.

Mhlaba was booked for the day by the government to entertain residents and dignitaries at the launch of a communal estates project.

She didn't expect the hostile reception when she wooed attendants to vote for the ANC in the upcoming local government elections.

Mhlaba stepped on stage with her famous hit Ngizwile Isandla, much to the applause of the guests, but she ruined the moment when she staged her campaign in the middle of her performance.

Mhlaba told the crowd to vote for the political party (ANC) that had made remarkable change in people's lives in the country.

ANC provincial chairman and premier Senzo Mchunu and MEC for rural development Cyril Xaba were all smiles when Mhlaba was on stage.

"It is all out there that I am siding with the ANC. It was declared by a certain newspaper. Yes I am, and nobody can change my mind."

Mhlaba continued to tell the crowd she didn't care about the people threatening her for her political choice.

One of the booing residents, Mazwi Mhlongo, blamed Mhlaba for turning a government event into a political arena.

"It's not that I'm against the ANC. It was inappropriate for her to campaign," he said.

Traditional leader Kwazini Zuma lambasted the gospel singer, and said what she did was against the law.

A defiant Mhlaba told Sowetan: "I will campaign for the ANC wherever I go. Nobody can stop me doing that."

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