African National Congress Member of Parliament Bongani Mkongi has apologised for his “offensive and provocative” comments.
This after the Western Cape MP took to Facebook on Saturday calling for Zuma must fall banner, which was erected in the Cape Town CBD on Friday, to be burnt down.
The banner was removed by ANC members and supporters on Saturday.
The #ZumaMustFall billboard is not ours but how can the AnC be allowed to take the law into their hands?
— Mmusi Maimane (@MmusiMaimane) January 16, 2016
In his post, which led to a social media outcry, Mkongi said: “Join the ANC in Cape Town today at 14h00 to burn down the billboard saying ‘ZumaMustFall’. The billboard must not be lifted down, but, burnt down.”
One person commented: “We can’t burn it down as it is pasted against an apartment block, people inside the apartment will burn to death. We can remove it though.”
Mkongi responded with: “They must burn to death as it is life for them to keep it that way.”
In a later Facebook post, Mkongi said while he stood by and saluted the ANC Youth League who led the banner removal march, calling for the building to burn was a judgement error.
“Today I posted a Facebook message imploring activists residing in the Western Cape to converge in town and pull down a #ZumaMustFall banner, which I believe was offensive, provocative, racially polarising and has potential to incite political violence.
“Any agitation for the removal of a democratically elected President outside of the election is unconstitutional, dangerous and must never be condoned,” he wrote.
He said he accepted that the statement exceeded the bounds of freedom of expression.
“I will never call for or incite violence, and indeed the removal of the banner today was peaceful. Therefore, while I stand by my post that the banner must fall, and I am pleased that it fell, I apologise for the second part of my message that suggested the banner must burn with the building.”
He said the ANC had called him to task over his comments. On Saturday, the Democratic Alliance said they would be taking Mkongi to Parliament’s ethics committee over the remarks.