As South Africans celebrate the Springboks third Rugby World Cup win, a tweet by EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi has proved about as successful as the English scrum on Saturday.
Even before the game, Ndlozi was disparaging to the Springboks and their supporters.
“Aggg please, today is England vs. England. I mean during 2010 World Cup the settlers had both flags in their homes & cars. It’s a win win for them because they are still England at heart! You should be focused on removing apartheid statues,” he responded to a tweet by Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa wishing the Boks well.
But it was Ndlozi’s tweet only congratulating victorious Bok captain Siya Kolisi, and saying “the rest” should be congratulated by British Prince Harry Mountbatten-Windsor, that got called offside by many South African Twitter users – who were still very much in a “wear only your flag-coloured underpants while kissing the cup” mood.
“Ingnorant little racist. Shame (sic),” responded FF Plus MP Corné Mulder in a tweet.
“What an idiot!” responded former DA federal chairperson Athol Trollip.
Rugby writer Antoinette Muller responded by posting a clip of Springbok winger Cheslin Kolbe stepping past English captain Owen Farrell on his way to the try line, leaving Farrell sprawled on the Yokohama-pitch as he dotted down to seal South Africa’s win.
Twitter users Karabo and Ati responded by tweeting Kolisi’s post-match words to Ndlozi: “We came together from different races from different backgrounds and pulled together. I hope we can show the country we can do it when we pull together…. we can do anything if we work together.”
Several others also tweeted the photo of Kolisi shaking Prince Harry’s hand in the Boks dressing room after the match.
Others simply didn’t want the party pooped.
DA parliamentary leader John Steenhuisen, in a radio interview with Jacaranda FM, described Ndlozi as the “Grinch who stole Christmas”, adding that the EFF got upset when South Africans pulled together because it didn’t fit into their divisive narrative.
“I think what gives the parties like the EFF and people like Mr Ndlozi chest pains is when they see South Africans of all cultures, all races celebrating something together because the EFF speaks to the haters,” Steenhuisen said.
Other Twitter users questioned Ndlozi’s academic credentials, while some figured his account must have been hacked.
There was some support for Ndlozi, notably from his “commander-in-chief”, Julius Malema, who clearly put a lot of thought into the matter, while other Twitter users pointed to the prevailing inequality in South Africa.
However, EFF chairperson Dali Mpofu congratulated Bok winger Makazole Mapimpi and tweeted a picture of the scorer of South Africa’s first try in a final holding the Mpofu Easter Rugby Tournament Trophy in 2013 and, six years later, the golden William Webb Ellis trophy.