Thu. Jul 18th, 2019

Zindzi Mandela backlash intensifies, as campaign to get her fired begins

Zindzi Mandela AfriForumBe careful what you Tweet-storm. Especially if you’re a serving ambassador. AfriForum have approached the government, hoping to get Zindzi Mandela fired.

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We’ve all been there: It’s Friday night, there are a few things to say and you’ve decided that Twitter is the most appropriate place for your opinions. That might be all well and good for a regular citizen, but when you’re the daughter of South Africa’s most-loved leader and a serving ambassador like Zindzi Mandela is, you’ll need to have a rethink.

Zindzi Mandela Tweets on land expropriation

Madiba’s daughter really teed off on the issue of land expropriation. Given that it’s one of the most hot-button topics in the country right now, public figures have a responsibility to engage in the debate with nuance and understanding. Mandela, however, went in with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer:

AfriForum: Calls for Zindzi Mandela to be dismissed as ambassador intensify

The reaction has been fiery, to say the least. Zindzi has found plenty of support, but the condemnation – which also drew ire from DA leader Mmusi Maimane – has practically dominated the discourse. It also looks likely to decide what will happen next South Africa’s Danish ambassador.

City Press confirmed that the Nelson Mandela Foundation are seeking to meet with Zindzi Mandela, in order to discuss her comments further. Regardless of the opinion, the way her thoughts were expressed brazenly overstepped the mark of controversy, and it’s not a good look for the organisation that represents Madiba’s ideals.

Meanwhile, AfriForum have had their piss thoroughly boiled. A telling-off simply won’t do for the Afrikaner group, who confirmed through a statement that they would be lobbying for a dismissal: Deputy CEO Alana Bailley wants Zindzi booted from her role as high commissioner, labelling her behaviour as “dangerous”

“With her Twitter messages, Mandela displayed a rancorous attitude towards white residents in the country and in a very public arena, contributed to the division of local communities.

“With false allegations and demeaning terms such as ‘cowards’ and ‘land thieves’, she is contributing to a dangerous discourse of scapegoating. Her defence that she is entitled to a personal opinion, shows a complete lack of insight into her responsibility in her position as ambassador.”

Alana Bailley, AfriForum

Flirting with the EFF

This isn’t the first time Zindzi Mandela has ended up stirring up the controversy in 2019, either. The ANC representative was pictured wearing an EFF hat and posing alongside Dali Mpofu for a photo. Mandela has since dismissed her actions as a joke, but it seems that some the red berets may have been able to bend her ear.

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