Mbuyiseni Ndlozi's 'merely touching' comments spark anger and outrage in SA
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.
But they are telling her that she can be here, but not allowed to talk to EFF members. It means she was trying to interview them— Mbuyiseni Ndlozi (@MbuyiseniNdlozi) September 9, 2020
I really do not see harassment here. Merely Touching her is not harassment. The touch has to be violent, invasive, or harmful to become harassment! https://t.co/dzkglCGVcM
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.
The Presidential Protection Unit has been pushing journalists since the days of Nelson Mandela. Journalists have never called this harassment; not a single journalist, senior or junior, has ever complained. An unarmed member of the EFF, touches one journalist; you cry Harassment!— Mbuyiseni Ndlozi (@MbuyiseniNdlozi) September 9, 2020
Here is Ramaphosa TOUCHING a journalist to remove her from the way so that Mandela’s can pass. Merely touching journalists is NOT harassment— Mbuyiseni Ndlozi (@MbuyiseniNdlozi) September 9, 2020
We can disagree with EFF members removing journalists from protests (WHICH IS WRONG) without saying merely touching them is Harassment! pic.twitter.com/inniwlNgRf
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.
But @eNCA why do they keep coming to us when it is you who decided to walk out of our lives at the EFF National Assembly. According to you, we are the undesirables! We have since asked you to also LEAVE US ALONE. It is harassment to keep coming to us; you walked away. Stay Away!— Mbuyiseni Ndlozi (@MbuyiseniNdlozi) September 9, 2020
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.
The irony...so i ask if women get “merely touched” in the EFF, men come out in droves to attack me and defend the EFF, what are you defending if there’s nothing wrong with how they treated that journalist ! Mcim!!!— Bonnie Mbuli (@BonnieMbuli) September 9, 2020
Justifying the harassment of Nobesuthu Hejana as mere touching is not only further harassment, but is another public display of how men will downplay the harm their words and actions cause. You can’t say you’re fighting GBV on the one hand and ‘merely touch’ on the other.— Khaya Dlanga (@khayadlanga) September 9, 2020
The @EFFSouthAfrica and its leaders will never let you forget what they truly are: a misogynistic, fascist, intolerant, violent, corrupt bunch of opportunists who thrive on hate. Mbuyiseni Ndlozi is not an anomaly here. He is repeating what other EFF leaders say and do every day. https://t.co/RYjJpuJ0X8— Justice Malala (@justicemalala) September 9, 2020
Ndlozi is essentially arguing that because of her profession her body isn’t truly hers. That politicians have a right to physically handle journalists as they see fit. This is violence. This is the logic that informs GBV— Ann Marie Lastrassi stan (@naledimashishi) September 9, 2020
So according to dokotela Ndlozi, there is nothing wrong with "merely touching" a woman💔— Daughter of The African Soil 🌍❤️❤️ (@Anastasi_Boity) September 9, 2020
It is the "merely touching" that led to many women being raped in this country.
We are not safe at all.
"Merely Touching her is not harassment. The touch has to be violent, invasive, or harmful to become harassment!" - Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, 2020— Sebenzile Nkambule (@SebeNkambule) September 9, 2020
Remember this the next time he waxes lyrical about respecting women and fighting GBV.
We are teaching our children that just because it doesn't look violent does not meant it is not.— GAO (@Gao_Phala) September 9, 2020
"Merely Touching her is not harassment." - Dr Ndlozi— African Renaissance🦅🇿🇦🦁 (@MadiBoity) September 9, 2020
He says this in 2020 in a country that is leading the world on femicide.
“I really do not see harassment here. Merely Touching her is not harassment. The touch has to be violent, invasive, or harmful to become harassment!” - Ndlozi, 2020.— i (@__eatzz) September 9, 2020
This ladies & gentlemen is why other forms of abuse are never seen as abuse cause they are not violent.
'Merely touching her is not harassment'— Kamva Somdyala (@kamva_somdyala) September 9, 2020
- Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, 2020, grading levels of harassment (is that even a thing?), in this Republic of South Africa?
Okay, then. Ok.
Thuli Madonsela said EFF was misogynistic and Ndlozi is here proving her right.— Ms_Gupta 🇿🇦 ❤️ (@African_Spring) September 9, 2020
The dude doesn't even know what harrassment is. 🤡🤡🤡🤡
Anyone who agrees with that, "touching her is not harrassment" tweet, please I beg you, block me 😡😡😡😡