- EFF MP Floyd Shivambu has denied claims of xenophobia against Home Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba
- This came after Shivambu asked Gigaba in Parliament about his nationality
- Twitter has responded saying that Shivambu supports colonialism if he's asking about African nationality
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) deputy president and MP Floyd Shivambu has defended his question to Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, about his nationality.
Shivambu asked Gigaba about claims made by former ANC MP, Vytjie Mentor, on social media last year that he was a Zimbabwean national, during Parliament's Public Enterprises Committee inquiry into state capture.
“What is offensive when people ask you about your nationality? It happens every day when we apply for visas, and when we travel people ask us about our nationalities. Isn’t this an opportunity for you to clarify where you were born?” Shivambu asked.
Gigaba, and acting committee chairperson Zukiswa Rantho, were upset by the question, as were members of the public who responded on Twitter, Briefly.co.za gathered.
Gigaba refused to answer the question and said Mentor’s allegations were part of an extensive “vilification campaign” he had been subjected to for political reasons for some time now. He added that Shivambu had known him for a long time and found it baffling that he was asking him about his nationality.
“All of that vilification has been malicious, and this question itself is malicious. Why does it arise now?” Gigaba asked.
Well-known economist and columnist Xhanti Payi, said in a tweet Shivambu’s question was “shameful”. Twitter responded that Shivambu's comment was an indication of support for colonialism, which defined African borders.
Shivambu defended his question on Twitter, and tweeted: “It isn’t xenophobic to ask the nationality of any African, it is xenophobic & self-hate to ‘take offence’ when asked where were you born, mostly because the asked person dreads that they might be born in a different politically defined territory in Africa. Just respond the move on! [sic]”
Last month, Twitter lashed out at EFF leader Julius Malema, accusing him of xenophobia after he said Duduzane Zuma and his twin sister, Duduzile, were not “proper South Africans” during a radio interview with Tbo Touch’s Touch HD.
Malema said Duduzane, who is in business with the controversial Gupta brothers accused of state capture and corruption, was not a patriotic South African and was born in Mozambique.
“They [Duduzane and Duduzile] can’t speak any of the South African vernacular languages. Duduzane is not a proper South African,” Malema said.
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