From Mboweni to Zille: 5 Twitter moments that didn't go down well

15 November 2018 - 06:00 By Odwa Mjo

From American President Donald Trump to South African public officials, social media has been used by political top brass as a platform to interact with the public. It does, however, come at a price.

Ministers, premiers and mayors have often found themselves at the receiving end of backlash from the public due to their behaviour and conduct on social media. 

Here's a list of some of the blunders that politicians have made on the Twitter streets. Or, at least, what got Twitter talking...

Tito Mboweni 

Newly-appointed Finance Minister Tito Mboweni established his Twitter career way before he got his new gig. Mboweni recently asked Twitter users if he should hand over his account to government administration to tweet on his behalf.

Twitter was not impressed with the joke.

Fikile "Fearfokkol" Mbalula  

From his time as minister of sports and recreation, right through to his position of minister of police, Mbalula has used Twitter as a platform to push his department campaigns. And throw shade.

His twars with Gareth Cliff and Ntsiki Mazwai has seen Mzansi grabbing the popcorn. Oh, and his tendency to block haters does leave a sour taste in the mouths of Twitter freedom of speech campaigners.

Malusi Gigaba  

He has been at the centre of many headlines in the past few weeks following a leaked sex tape that he claims was meant for his wife. 

But even without his, er, handling of that issue, Gigaba has been ever-Redi (geddit?) to respond to hate.

Helen Zille 

Battles with the opposition. Colonialism. Battles with supporters of the opposition. Colonialism.

Zille has been through the most. And when you make one blunder, best you know Twitter will bring those files when needed.

Herman Mashaba

The Johannesburg mayor caught heat after his controversial tweet comparing President Cyril Ramaphosa to US President Donald Trump.

Despite the flak, Mashaba defended his tweet by saying he was making similarities on government failure.