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'Part-time minister' Lindiwe Sisulu’s attendance at MK event draws mixed reactions

22 March 2022 - 10:21
Lindiwe Sisulu questioned why vets had not received housing benefits. File photo.
Lindiwe Sisulu questioned why vets had not received housing benefits. File photo.
Image: Trevor Samson

UPDATE: Sisulu's spokesperson Mpumzi Zuzile responds to criticism of the minister.

Tourism minister Lindiwe Sisulu is being criticised after attending an event hosted by Umkhonto we Sizwe veterans in Ekurhuleni, where she spoke about SA’s laws.

Sisulu attended the MK veterans’ national conference build-up programme event at the weekend. Issues tabled at the event included the need to speedily address the welfare of veterans, access to adequate housing and rightful recognition of the disbanded uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association.

In her address, Sisulu suggested that certain laws should be re-evaluated, saying some do not cater for all South Africans.

Speaking in isiZulu, Sisulu said black veterans were treated differently from their white counterparts who fought in the second world war, and that needed to change.

“White soldiers left the country to go and fight in World War 2 and upon their return received houses from the then president without going to parliament to plead for them. Yet, with us, we have to ask.

“Our laws need to be changed and be fit for purpose. We need to make sure that the law serves all South Africans because now it is one-sided. We have been crying for our land and still nothing has changed,” said Sisulu.

She said it was time for women to lead and occupy strategic positions.

Sisulu’s attendance and address drew reaction from many who said she should have instead spoken about what she had achieved in the portfolios she had occupied since “the dawn of democracy”.

Others criticised Sisulu’s record since taking over the tourism portfolio, saying she was a “part-time” minister and “full-time CIC” of the disbanded veterans' association.

Speaking to TimesLIVE, Sisulu's spokesperson Mpumzi Zuzile said people had the right to share their opinions on matters but those who were questioning the minister's work should do their research before casting aspersions.

“Criticism is what is acceptable. Everyone gets criticised. Those saying she is a part-time minister must start reading. As we speak the minister has a two-hour meeting with tourism stakeholders, updating them on how far we are in implementing a Covid-19 recovery plan,” he said.

He said Sisulu would not comment on claims she will take on President Cyril Ramaphosa for the ANC presidency in December.

“ANC nominations for presidential candidates have not opened yet and as a disciplined member of the ANC she will not comment.”

Here is a snapshot of what many had to say about Sisulu's attendance at the event:

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