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Outrage as MK Party Youth Leader Accuses Siya Kolisi of 'Slavery' Rhetoric on Podcast

Published March 13, 2024
2 months ago

South African Springbok captain, Siya Kolisi, was recently the subject of contentious remarks by uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party's youth leader, Bonginkosi Khanyile, who during an appearance on DJ Sbu’s podcast, The Hustlers Corner SA, suggested that Kolisi's prominence made black citizens "slaves of white people." The episode, which aired this past Monday and has since garnered substantial engagement with over 35,000 views and hundreds of comments, has stirred up a significant amount of controversy within the nation.

The comments by Khanyile, known for his role in the #FeesMustFall protests as a student leader and activist, criticize Kolisi for seemingly not representing black people and for assuming an undeserved heroic status. Khanyile harshly questioned whether Kolisi was a "field Negro or a house one," implying that the rugby icon was playing a role in reinforcing racial divisions.

Furthermore, Khanyile underscored this point by highlighting the Rugby World Cup celebrations, where Kolisi was reportedly alone as the team's bus went through Khayelitsha, a predominantly black neighborhood, despite other accounts suggesting that this was not the case.

Khanyile also touched upon broader political issues, addressing the allegations of corruption among senior African National Congress (ANC) members, including Police Minister Bheki Cele, President Cyril Ramaphosa, and former transport minister, Fikile Mbalula.

The online reaction to Khanyile's comments was mixed, with some praising his leadership and potential within the MK Party, while others were critical, disavowing the racial undertones of his critique of Kolisi. Some internet users went on to defend Siya Kolisi, explaining that he should be seen as a respected figure who represents a success story of overcoming adversity, rather than a divisive symbol.

The contentious statements have prompted discussions around the role of public figures in post-apartheid South Africa and how they are perceived and talked about within various communities. The debate has reignited conversations about race, representation, and the extent to which notable individuals like Kolisi should bear the weight of these complex social dynamics.

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