Gopolang Moloko
2 minute read
2 Apr 2019
2:59 pm

Mbalula defends ANC over Cape Airport renaming, Malema digs up proof

Gopolang Moloko

The ANC's election head had his hands full with people accusing the ANC of voting against renaming Cape Town International Airport to Winnie Mandela.

Fikile Mbalula rubs his head during a media briefing about the results of the ANC's Strategy and Tactics panel at the party's 54th National Elective Conference at Nasrec, Johannesburg on 20 December 2017. Nathi Mthethwa and Mbalula spoke about changes in the panel's policy, the importance of gender equity and the need to institute an inquiry on state capture. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

An online quarrel about the renaming of Cape Town International Airport to Winnie Mandela has surfaced, forcing ANC election head Fikile Mbalula to do some fancy footwork to calm some agitated social media users.

It all started with the election head sharing a few of Winnie’s inspiring quotes from during the apartheid struggle. Mbalula, in an attempt to set the record straight, tweeted that the party had never said the Cape Airport should not be named after Winnie.

In response to Mbalula, social media user @MalixolePopo suggested Mbalula, alongside the ANC, should never have voted against the proposed name change, instead of “defend[ing] the indefensible”.

“You should have supported the motion qha and instead of coming here to defend the indefensible… You guys are a complete JOKE.”

He was referring to the National Assembly’s vote against the proposed name change last month where parties voted against the name change.

Mbalula defended ANC MP Dikeledi Magadzi, who during parliament detailed why the proposed name change was not accepted.

Mbalula said footage of the MP showed that Magadzi did not say Mandela’s name was not “tried and tested”. He urged social media users to watch the video in its entirety.

His efforts were met by even more resistance, with Twitter user Raymond Segodi stating he had watched the video five times, and the party did say Winnie’s name was not “tried and tested”.

“That is what she said, no running away from that one. ANC in parliament said the only person who openly proclaimed to be ANC during the burning of political parties was not tried and tested. Personally, no one paid the biggest price than mama Winnie. I watched that clip five times,” he tweeted.

EFF leader Julius Malema was quick to also get Mbalula’s attention as he quickly tagged him with the video.

The EFF lost their bid to have the Cape Town International Airport renamed to Mandela at the National Assembly last month, where the ANC, along with some opposition MPs rejected the EFF sponsored motion to have the Cape Airports name changed.

The ANC’s chief whip Jackson Mthembu argued that the motion tabled by the EFF leader was misplaced as parliament had no legislative authority on name changes.

Malema had argued that renaming the airport would signify recognition of the role Winnie Mandela played in the fight against apartheid.

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