Ndlozi apologises for saying protesters ‘merely touching’ female reporter was not harassment

Mbuyiseni Ndlozi. Image credit: Twitter/Mbuyiseni Ndlozi

EFF MP Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi has apologised for a controversial tweet he posted during EFF protests against a Clicks hair advert last week.

Reacting to an eNCA video clip showing EFF protesters pushing a female TV reporter covering the protests, Ndlozi tweeted that he did not see harassment in the clip.

‘Merely touching her is not harassment’

He wrote, “But they are telling her that she can be here, but not allowed to talk to EFF members. It means she was trying to interview them. I really do not see harassment here. Merely touching her is not harassment. The touch has to be violent, invasive, or harmful to become harassment!”

The tweet sparked intense criticism from ordinary South Africans as well as the media fraternity. Ndlozi initially doubled down on his tweet and even shared a video of President Cyril Ramaphosa during former President Nelson Mandela’s release from prison in 1990 to support his view.

Ramaphosa is seen in the video motioning a reporter to move out of Mandela’s way. Ndlozi captioned the video, “Here is Ramaphosa TOUCHING a journalist to remove her from the way so that Mandela’s can pass.

“Merely touching journalists is NOT harassment. We can disagree with EFF members removing journalists from protests (WHICH IS WRONG) without saying merely touching them is harassment!”

However, the controversial MP had a change of heart on Wednesday and apologised for his tweets. “When I wrote, ‘Merely touching her is not harassment,’ it was an irresponsible tweet, giving licence to the violent treatment of women.

“It was also hurtful and made many who have suffered violence relive this pain. I apologise and receive all the robust rebuke you all gave me with love!” he wrote.

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