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By Itumeleng Mafisa

Digital Journalist


‘He’s a liability’ – Mbalula criticised for video of him dancing on Nile River instead of ‘stopping ANC decline’

Fikile Mbalula made waves on social media after posting video of himself on a boat on the Nile River.


ANC Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula has been criticised for posting a video of himself cruising on the Nile River while his party deals with crushing blows back in South Africa.

The ANC leader posted the video on the day he and his party lost another court case regarding cadre deployment and a day before the Speaker of the National Assembly, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, who is also a high-ranking member of the party, was arrested in Pretoria.

The MK Party had also appealed the IEC’s decision to not allow former president Jacob Zuma to contest the upcoming elections.

South Africans react to Mbalula video

South Africans on X criticised Mbalula for failing to be in the country while the ANC was putting out fires.

The ANC secretary-general said he was in South Sudan to attend the inauguration of the first session of the transitional national legislative assembly, which he described as a milestone for the people of the East African country.

On X, he posted a video of himself dancing to music, while sailing into the sunset on the Nile River.

Watch: Mbalula cruising on the Nile

Political analyst Sipho Seepe described Mbalula’s behaviour as lacking intelligence.

“He has become a liability to the ANC. He seems to lack all forms of intelligence, including emotional intelligence. He shoots from the hip, he often says things without reflecting on the consequence.

“He will talk about how the ANC has sorted things when they have not. The words that come out of his mouth – its like he has no control of his words,” said Seepe.

He said there were indications that the ANC’s strength in government would weaken, with polls indicating that the ruling party might dip below 50%.

“In this time, when there is a discussion on coalitions, you would have thought that his attention would on stopping the decline and all other issues would be of less importance. The fact that his attention is divided on many other things says a lot,” said Seepe.

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He added that the voice of the secretary-general (SG) in the ANC has historic importance and strength.

“There was an arrest of the speaker and the ANC had no comment. One would have thought that the ANC would be focusing on the elections, the voice of the SG is the one that people take seriously,” Seepe said.

“The previous SG was more sober and measured. He never rushed into the condemnation of people, he provided a sense of dignity to the office. There was a certain sense of maturity and calmness. The office requires someone who is mature, not excitable.”

ANC relationship with South Sudan

Another political analyst Siphamandla Zondi described Mbalula’s visit to South Sudan as a fraternal visit meant to strengthen ties between the ANC and South Sudan’s ruling party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).

“Almost every year, there are exchanges at the high level between the ANC and SPLM often focused on support for government programmes on both sides and on keeping the spirit of liberation thinking alive. This last visit by the SG of the ANC is framed in the same idea of fraternity and solidarity of liberation,” he said.

Zondi said the ANC and the SPLM had a long-standing relationship.

“South Sudan is one those countries that supports South Africa’s foreign policy positions in Africa and beyond including on global reform, continental unity, and international solidarity. It is one of the few countries, including South Africa, still governed by classical liberation movements. It is the only one in the Horn of Africa, making it crucial for the ANC’s so-called progressive internationalism,” he said.

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The Citizen had reached out to the ANC about the trip to South Sudan but there had been no response from the ANC’s media team nor Mbalula.