Eugene Mthethwa, a music legend and part of the kwaito duo Trompies, was sworn in as an EFF MP on Wednesday. He is the party’s second musician to take up this post, following Ringo Madlingozi in 2019.
Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, an EFF MP, called the party’s move the “greatest affirmation” of artists’ contributions to politics.
“In time, you will give it to the EFF for taking artists seriously. Ringo and Eugene being sent to parliament as EFF MPs is the greatest affirmation of the artists’ contribution to our panoply of revolutionary policies and ideas. No other party takes art as seriously as the EFF,” said Ndlozi.
Mthethwa was sworn in as a new member of the party’s caucus in parliament alongside Mzwanele Manyi, Nqobile Mhlongo, and Mandla Shikwambana.
In parliament, the musician committed to fight for the creative and cultural sectors.
“Thank you, EFF, for restoring my dignity and confidence. I solemnly swear that I will continue to fight for the masses of our people in the creative and cultural sector. This being the month of youth, I will channel my focus on youth and women,” Mthethwa said.
Mthethwa made headlines in 2021 when he chained himself to the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (Samro) facility in order to demand royalty payments.
According to SurgeZirc SA, Mthethwa, who was a board member of Samro at the time, claimed the music rights organisation functioned in a system that “robs” artists and songwriters of royalties.
Julius Malema, leader of the EFF, hinted at changes in parliament, saying he had “complete confidence” in the incoming members.
Mthethwa was defined as a “seasonal cultural activist” by the EFF.
“He has held a variety of leadership roles, including chair of the Association of Independent Record Companies of SA and being an executive board member of the Music Industry Annual Conference and Exhibition. Further to these, Mthethwa has served as a member of the SABC music industry advisory committee,” the party said.