Check my phones, I didn't tell Somizi about lockdown extension: Mbalula

09 April 2020 - 22:19 By TimesLIVE
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula.
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula.
Image: ESA ALEXANDER

Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has denied that he leaked news of the extension of the lockdown to media personality Somizi Mhlongo.

This comes after Mhlongo was heard on Metro FM radio host Dineo Ranaka's Instagram Live video saying the lockdown would be extended.

A video of the conversation is currently doing the rounds on social media, and it was widely shared just a few hours before President Cyril Ramaphosa officially announced a two-week extension of the national lockdown.

In it, Mhlongo can be heard saying the announcement would be made on Thursday night.

“Today they are announcing ... the extension, I am telling you. I was speaking to Fikile [Mbalula]," said Mhlongo.

Ranaka abruptly cuts off her live broadcast as soon as Mhlongo said it was Mbalula who he was referring to.

But in a tweet later in the evening, Mbalula denied telling Mhlongo about the extension of the lockdown.

He said that at no stage did he speak to Mhlongo about lockdown — and that “my phones can be checked or meet with him”.

“Just called him now to rectify,” tweeted Mbalula.

He later reposted a video on Mhlongo apologising for his comments.

In the video, Mhlongo goes on to explain that he did not speak to Mbalula but he was making a joke.

“I realise now that the president has announced an extension that it's going to seem like I knew about it.

“I'm just like you, I did not know about it, I was just guessing. I think like everybody else I had a feeling that it was gonna be extended,” said Mhlongo.

He then apologised to Mbalula over his “joke”.

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