Durban - A video of a legion of EFF delegates kneeling in front of party president, Julius Malema, after delivering his political report on Saturday at Nasrec has drawn massive ridicule online, with some describing the leader as a cult figure.
This was after scores of excited delegates kneeled before Malema. The video has sparked a debate about how leaders should be treated, with some likening the act as“Bushirism”, an apparent reference to Malawian pastor Shepherd Bushiri.
His followers have been accused of having blind loyalty for him.
In the 35 seconds video posted on Twitter by Khaya Koko, an Independent Media journalist, the legions of middle-aged supporters approached the stage clapping hands and singing in adoration, “there is no one like Julius Malema."
Upon reaching the front of the stage, they knelt in supposed appreciation and adulation.
Political analyst, Xolani Dube, said the act by the delegates was a sign that Malema has become a personality cult in the party. He said this was not surprising as that was what he had always wanted.
“There is no surprise there, Malema has always wanted that and he was happy to see such thing happening on Saturday. I warned people about this risk a long time ago,” Dube said.
Earlier, Malema slammed delegates for kneeling for him.
Meanwhile, on Twitter, delegates were roasted for going beyond the normal norms of appreciating a leader.
Twitter user, George Makubalo (@GeorgeMakubalo) said this was how South Africans spoil their politicians.
“That is how we destroy our leaders. We worship them instead of critiqueing (sic) them or holding them accountable,” makubalo said about the gesture.
That is how we destroy our leaders. We worship them instead of critiqueing them or holding them accountable.— George Makubalo (@GeorgeMakubalo) December 14, 2019
EyesWideOpen (@indigovenice) said the worshiping of Malema was becoming a cult.
“Then this is a cult - this is what cult members would do. Cult members, or the foot-soldiers of an african tribe that must bow in the utmost subservience and say “Bayete inkosi” But this is the 21st century!!”
Then this is a cult - this is what cult members would do. Cult members, or the foot-soldiers of an african tribe that must bow in the utmost subservience and say “Bayete inkosi” But this is the 21st century‼️— EyesWideOpen (@indigovenice) December 14, 2019
LorraineCrosby (@LorraineChutel) described the gesture as heart-breaking.
“This is heartbreaking! No man ought to kneel for another flesh and blood man! No leader should allow that.”
Even more blistering, Twitter user, Spider™ (@VeezO07) said some of the delegates found it fit to kneel before Malema when they could not kneel for their parents.
“Stripped of their dignity - but they're happy about it. Brainwashed by the cult. Many won't even kneel and acknowledge their elders and parents.”
Ndieni Rasikhuthuma (@Ndieni1) said a responsible leader should discourage such harmful gestures of appreciation.
“They should not pass this syncopathic cult tendencies to their kids a responsible leader should discourage this.”
Rasikhuthuma’s comment prompted another Twitter user, @rno (@watsenaam) to say leaders like Malema, Jacob Zuma and Donald Trump always revel in such gestures.
“Exactly. Zumas, Trumps and Malemas of this world will never discourage it though. They need it. It's like a drug to these narcissists.”