A viral video showing Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema apparently pushing EFF spokesperson Dr. Mbuyiseni Ndlozi has sparked debate on social media.
The incident happened as Malema was running to the stage at EFF’s 6th anniversary rally at Kanyamazane stadium in Mpumalanga on Saturday.
Ndlozi was speaking to EFF MP Marshall Dlamini when Malema, running from behind, gently nudged him in an apparent signal to also run to the stage.
The video was first shared by political journalist @Mshengu_1 on Twitter.
The scene has left South Africans on social media divided as to whether Malema was being disrespectful or simply playful.
Some felt the EFF leader’s nudge reinforced perceptions that he doesn’t respect Ndlozi.
But the messiah of EFF should treat Dr Ndlozi with some level of respect. How he shoved him is pure [disrespect].@_Shimane_
For others, however, there was nothing wrong with what Malema did.
Nothing wrong with Malema tapping Ndlozi at the back. It’s also a brothers or siblings things… Problem is YOU… ni catcher unnecessary feelings.@Azania_Mhayise
Meanwhile, Malema used part of his speech to defend Ndlozi from perceptions that he’s his “ice boy.”
He said people have resorted to calling Ndlozi names because they have failed to fault him politically.
However, another viral video seemed to undercut Malema’s own words.
He is seen talking to Ndlozi at the rally’s afterparty, after which Ndlozi appeared to dash off, seemingly on an errand.
Some social media users pounced on the video, saying it’s yet another example of Ndlozi’s perceived status as an “ice boy.”