A video doing the rounds on social media has exposed the false statements made by the ANC’s head of elections Fikile Mbalula during an interview on eNCA with JJ Tabane.
When told that President Cyril Ramaphosa had in 2019 promised residents of Alexandra that the ANC would build one million houses, Mbalula replied “it was never one million”.
A clip has now been shared which shows the president saying that one million would be built.
Mbalula then doubled down on his mistruth, saying the promise to build one million houses was a figment of people’s imagination.
The interview did not get any better for Mbalula after that. When Tabane asked how many houses the ANC had built, Mbalula said “2019 was just two years ago”.
Mbalula has since responded to the criticism he received after the interview, denying that Ramaphosa said he would build a million houses in Alexandra. He claimed the Human Settlements Department had a programme to build a million houses nationwide.
At the time, Ramaphosa was in Alexandra after widespread protests over illegal housing, waste management and crime in the impoverished township.
After Ramaphosa spoke in Alexandra, South Africa’s media houses all reported that he promised to build a million houses in the area. However, a month later, human settlements officials told the South African Human Rights Commission and the Office of the Public Protector that the media had misinterpreted what Ramaphosa said.
This isn’t the first time Mbalula has taken flak for a TV interview.
In July, he appeared on the BBC’s HARDtalk to speak about the unrest in South Africa. Mbalula contradicted himself when asked whether the riots were an “insurrection”.
Similarly, the ANC head of elections last month claimed that the party is ready to spend “about R50 million” on its election campaign. He then turned around just a few hours later and dismissed reports of this budget as “sensational”, despite there being audio of him saying it during a radio interview.