'It was just a joke,' Mcinga says after wearing an IEC bib

‘People are not supposed to make a big deal out of it’

Koena Mashale Journalist
Gospel singer Bethusile Mcinga.
Gospel singer Bethusile Mcinga.
Image: Supplied

Wearing an IEC bib then taking a picture and posted it on social media was just a joke and people were not supposed to make a big deal out of it.

This is what SA Music Awards (SAMA) winner Bethusile Mcinga said after a picture of him wearing an IEC bib at Africa Day celebrations in Komani, formerly Queenstown, where he was performing.

The picture got tounges wagging because there are other photographs of him performing at an ANC rally and wearing the party’s T-shirt.

Mcinga, who won the 2023 SAMA Song of the year for his song Ngena Noah, said no one would have batted an eyelid had he worn a nurses uniform even though he is not a nurse and therefore did not understand why people were making a big deal out of it.

He said the photo originated from a joke that was started by his fans. 

“I was at an event where I was performing at the provincial Africa Day celebrations in Komani and there were officials from the IEC and other organisations from the government like your home affairs and other  institutions under the government. 

“I was there and I was performing and then I was like ‘let me just push the joke by my fans and wear this IEC thing’ and I posted on social media and said ‘Here is your IEC’. It was a joke,” he said.

Mcinga said people were making a big deal out of nothing. 

“Now people are taking it out of context and trying to push their propaganda and agendas. Which is why I didn’t want to respond to such comments because now they are putting it as if I work for IEC, which is not true. I don’t work for the IEC, I have never worked for the IEC and in fact I have no connection to the IEC,” said Mcinga. 

While he has also posted a picture of himself in the ANC regalia on his social media account, Mcinga said he was not affiliated to any political party.

He said even if he were working for the IEC, it would still be entitled as a right to affiliate with any party he liked. 

“Even if I was working for them [IEC], I have a right as a citizen to associate myself with any political organsiation of my choice but I don’t and that makes me free to wear an EFF T-shirt,  ANC T-shirt, IFP T-shirt or any political party that wants me to endorse them.

However, he has not posted any picture in other parties’ regalia.

IEC spokesperson, David Mandaha said that even though Mcinga if it is for jokes, no one is allowed to wear the regalia if they don’t work for it.

“We have been made aware of photos circulating on social media that falsely depict gospel singer Bethusile Mcinga as an employee of the Electoral Commission, while he is shown wearing a political party shirt. We can confirm that Bethusile Mcinga does not work for the IEC. We urge the public to verify information before sharing it to prevent the spread of misinformation.

“You are not allowed to wear the IEC regalia if you are not the part of the IEC. You can’t joke about this, and he [Mcinga] should take this seriously. You can’t joke using an organisations regalia. You can’t go around joking and attending events wearing our regalia.

“It is not allowed at all.”

"There is no specific (IEC) law that I can point out (to say he breached) but it’s not allowed according regarding our regulations. You can’t just wear that, we don’t know where he got it or how he obtained it but he isn’t allowed," Mandaha said.

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