Advocate Thuli Madonsela may not be the public protector anymore, but she still manages to get under the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) skin for some of her commentary on social issues. Madonsela and the red berets have often butted heads, including on social media – this time the party’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi has taken aim at her, after she weighed in on EFF-led protests at Clicks stores.
The EFF painted the country red on Monday, 7 September 7, 2020, figuratively, demonstrating outside the health and beauty retailer’s outlets – vowing to not allow it to operate, until it addresses its demands.
Madonsela: ‘Anarchy and violence undermine the cause’
In reaction to the advertisement, South Africans took to social media to voice their outrage and accused Clicks’ ad of being racist towards black women. This prompted the hashtag #BlackHairMatters on twitter – which featured black women posting images of their natural afros.
Like the legions of South Africans who have spoken out, in response to the protest action, Madonsela – who considers herself a social justice activist, also voiced her opinion. Madonsela, currently the Law Trust Chair in Social Justice and Law Professor at the University of Stellenbosch, said the topic raised by the controversial advertisement, black hair, said it was a case of textbook bias. She further condemned the violence which broke out in the wake of the EFF’s protests, saying it did little to deal with the subject matter.
“Calling it out is great but anarchy and violence undermine the cause”, she tweeted in part.
Well, Ndlozi did not take too kindly to Madonsela’s remark, telling her to “find the nearest hell”.
“Find the nearest hell Thuli… when you get there, you know the cerebral thing to do. We need no approval from your coconut logic. Protest is the constitutionally right thing to do when authorities do not punish racism”, he said in response.
It didn’t end there – he accused Madonsela of secretly seeking approval and acceptance from white people, even making reference to her in-laws. The former public protector is engaged to a white man.
Clicks’ Group CEO Vikesh Ramsunder has apologised for the saga, and said they had suspended two employees linked to the ad.
“Already, the negligent employees have been suspended, and we have engaged the supplier, who has now also issued an apology. This incident has highlighted the need to audit all of our 3rd party (and our own) promotional material for any implicit or explicit bias as well as the need for diversity and inclusivity training for all of our head office employees”, he said.
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