EFF leader Julius Malema has slammed party members for kneeling in front of him during the party’s national conference.
This comes after dozens of delegates on Saturday randomly burst into song, ran up to the stage where Malema was speaking from the podium and knelt before him.
As the delegates were kneeling, they sang a Sesotho song which, loosely translated, means: “Julius Malema, there is no-one like you.”
During a plenary session of the party’s conference on Sunday, Malema slammed his supporters, saying that he did not ask anyone to kneel in front of him.
He also took the opportunity to take a swipe at EFF MP Naledi Chirwa, hinting that the former Fees Must Fall activist may lose her position in parliament.
“I am not the EFF, neither am I the Holy Spirit … The EFF is not Malema,” the party leader said on Sunday.
A visibly irritated Malema strongly condemned the move by his supporters, which was widely criticised on social media.
“Those people who came here singing and kneeling down here in front of me and the officials … and then the papers write that Malema is a cult, people are kneeling before him as if I asked you to kneel before me.
“I never asked you to kneel before me. Don’t kneel before me, I don’t want that,” said Malema.
He added that no person should kneel in front of another — and used this to take a veiled swipe at Chirwa.
“You will do those things of kneeling there before [Shepard] Bushiri, because some of you even thank him for taking you to parliament,” fumed Malema.
“I am not your father ‘Papa Papa Bushiri’. I am not a father of anyone. ‘I receive Papa Papa, I am in parliament Papa Papa’ … that is why when you are removed from those positions you have a difficulty because you want to thank Papa,” said Malema.
Bushiri is the leader of the Enlightened Christian Gathering Church, and in September posted on Facebook that Chirwa had requested him to pray for her to become an MP.