ANC accuses EFF of reckless electioneering at Enock Mpianzi's funeral

02 February 2020 - 14:43
By Naledi Shange
EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi. File photo
Image: Brian Witbooi/The Herald EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi. File photo

The ANC on Sunday lambasted a speech delivered by the EFF’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi at the funeral of Parktown Boys' High School pupil Enock Mpianzi, who died while at a school orientation camp in Brits, North West, two weeks ago. 

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe accused Ndlozi of encouraging immigrants to break the laws of the country. 

“Dr Ndlozi reportedly said that foreign nationals in SA should not be asked for documentation to prove their immigration status. The ANC condemns in the strongest regard… this clear and deliberate attempt to incite lawlessness, which is damaging both to the cause of social cohension and to government’s efforts to drive immigration reform and clamp down on illegal immigration,” Mabe said in a statement.

Taking to the podium, Ndlozi had asked mourners "who asked Nelson Mandela for papers when they gave him military training in the continent? How dare you ask another fellow African for a paper?!" he shouted to cheers from some of the mourners who had packed the Kensington Secondary School hall for the service. 

"Can't you see this is their home? They are African! Do you ask Italians for papers? Do you ask the British for papers?"  

Mabe said the ANC had made commitments to refugee nationals but simply required all to be documented.

He stressed that the ANC-led government would continue to monitor its borders and discourage illegal entry into the country.

“The utterances by [Ndlozi] were reckless and irresponsible and appear to encourage foreign nationals to break the law. At a time when tensions still persist between citizens and foreign nationals, this is likely to further inflame public opinion,” said Mabe.

He also accused Ndlozi of electioneering even amid the pain of the grieving family, adding this was not the appropriate time.

The Mpianzi family which buried their son at the weekend is originally from the northern DRC. They have been in the country for several years. 

The Sunday Times reported how Ndlozi told the crowd the loss of a child was the key sign “that we as a people are negligent”. He argued the family had sent their child to Parktown Boys because it was a “better” school, but he was ultimately a casualty of a broken system.

He said black families were forced to take their children to be educated by “racists” — or what he described as schools with white management — because government had failed to maintain other schools or build new ones.

While the EFF members loudly agreed with Ndlozi’s speech, the Mpianzi family just looked on, occasionally making eye contact with the speaker, but barely moving.

It was only as Ndlozi concluded his speech that Guy Mpianzi, Enock's father,  offered a subdued clap.

Over the next few weeks, the Mpianzi family will be consulting with legal representatives — paid for by the EFF — over what is likely going to be a civil claim against the school and education department for alleged negligence.