Mbuyiseni Ndlozi's 'merely touching' comments spark anger and outrage

10 September 2020 - 10:23
By Unathi Nkanjeni
Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said EFF members did not harass journalist Nobesuthu Hejana.
Image: Gallo images Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said EFF members did not harass journalist Nobesuthu Hejana.

EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi has come under fire for defending party members caught on video pushing a journalist who was trying to cover the party's Clicks shutdown this week.

In a video shared by eNCA, journalist Nobesuthu Hejana was seen being harassed by EFF protesters outside a Clicks store in Plumstead, Cape Town.

The news channel said Hejana was also pushed and chased away by EFF protesters at a different Clicks store on Monday.

The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) condemned the harassment of the journalist, saying it was “appalling” and “misogynistic”.

The forum called on the Gender Commission and parliament to investigate.

“It is ironic that the incident happened during a protest by EFF, fighting for the dignity of black women and they themselves harassed a black woman,” said the forum in a statement.

“Sanef has been highlighting the plight of women journalists over the years, as they are often vulnerable at protests, rallies and other political events of various parties.”

However, Ndlozi responded to the video, denying that EFF members harassed the reporter.

He said his party members “merely” touched Hejana.

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Nldozi said the Presidential Protection Unit has been pushing journalists since the days of former late president Nelson Mandela and it has never been called harassment.

In a separate tweet, Ndlozi questioned why the news channel kept reporting on the party's events, after the broadcaster decided to stop covering the party’s elective conference last year. 

Reacting to his harassment statement, many slammed Ndlozi for his dismissive stance.

Social media users said Ndlozi's views were problematic in the fight against gender-based violence (GBV).

As a result of the criticism, Ndlozi topped Twitter's trending list. Here's what some users had to say.