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Land, controversy and race: A timeline of 'Zindzi Mandela's' Twitter storm

20 June 2019 - 06:28 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Zindzi Mandela caused a stir on social media following a series of tweets on land.
Zindzi Mandela caused a stir on social media following a series of tweets on land.
Image: Roberto Ricciuti/Getty Images

A series of #OurLand posts from a Twitter account allegedly belonging to South Africa's ambassador to Denmark and daughter of struggle icons Nelson and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Zindzi Mandela, caused a stir on social media, prompting AfriForum and high-profile politicians to weigh in on the comments. 

Here's a timeline of how events have unfolded so far.

June 14: Dear apartheid apologists

The tweets were met with numerous reactions, some from people who supported the views, others from people who were against them. Responding to one tweep who asked what would be done with the land once it was received, the response was filled with spice.

June 15: Mbalula steps in

Responding to one of the tweets, transport minister Fikile Mbalula appeared to plead with 'Mandela' to withdraw her statements - a tweet that soon caught the attention of EFF leader Julius Malema. 

June 16: AfriForum calls for Mandela to be fired - and the squad rolls in

By Sunday, Youth Day, lobby group AfriForum responded to Mandela's alleged tweets, accusing 'her' of causing divisions among South Africans and calling for 'her' diplomatic recall.

The group's deputy CEO Alana Bailey said 'Mandela's' views on the land issue showed a lack of understanding of responsibilities as the country's ambassador to Denmark.

Meanwhile, those who shared 'Mandela's' views defended her comments using the hashtag #HandsOffZindziMandela. 

Malema publicly called for support for 'Mandela' during a Youth Day rally at Fort Hare University in the Eastern Cape, telling cheering supporters: "Long live Winnie Mandela, long live. Hands off Zindzi Mandela! Mayibuye iAfrica."

June 17: Dirco keeps mum

Speaking to News24, Dirco spokesperson Clayson Monyela could not confirm the department's plan of action regarding Mandela's alleged tweets, saying he first needed to confirm the authenticity of the account and if it belongs to her. 

"I need to first check with her whether this is her account because it is not verified, whether she is the one who has been tweeting, and whether she stands by those tweets, if it is her who has been tweeting," said Monyela.

June 18: DA calls for action 

The DA on Tuesday joined AfriForum in calling for 'Mandela' to be dismissed as the country's ambassador to Denmark.

MP Darren Bergman cited the code of conduct as the basis upon which 'Mandela' should be fired. "According to the code of conduct, an ambassador may not express any view without the express permission of the international relations and cooperation minister, Naledi Pandor," he said.

The party said they have asked the minister if 'Mandela' was given the go-ahead to express those opinions.

June 19: A response?

After being MIA for a few days, a message on the account thanked fans for their support.