The ANC has defended the appointment of Xiaomei Harvard as its new MP to succeed former minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu.
The ANC received a backlash on social media, with xenophobic attacks aimed at Harvard. In a statement on Saturday, ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina said Havard has lived in the country since 1994 and had married a South African. She qualified to have South African citizenship in line with the laws of the land.
Majodina said Havard had been an active member of the ANC for the last 15 years. “In May 2019, she stood for elections on an ANC ticket having gone through a national list process and emerged as candidate 130 on the ANC national list as verified by the Independent Electoral Commission.
’’Her party, the ANC, included her name in the national list and her appointment meets constitutional muster and is allowed,” said Majodina.
She added that the National Assembly has had MPs of different origins who were not born in South Africa. Majodina said Havard was a trained ICT specialist and computer scientist. She was also a businesswoman.
One Twitter user said: ’’No matter how long she has been with ANC, it doesn’t matter. We have so many South Africans or Africans we can choose from… ANC you’d better reverse your decision if you want to keep people’s votes.’’
Another Twitter user had an opposing view, saying in response to #NoChineseInSAParliament: “She’s an asset to South Africa, she will attract more Chinese investors. We need people who will add value and create more employment for our people. I support her deployment.’’