It's the PR campaign that got backfired very badly.
It was meant to be a campaign for unity to support the 105th anniversary of the African National Congress (ANC) at the weekend but by late yesterday furious South Africans had put their own spin on it and turned #WeAreANC into political criticism, with a cartoon of party-and-country President Jacob Zuma urinating on the Constitution getting retweeted hundreds of times.
The ANC plans to celebrate the anniversary on January 8 with a rally at Orlando Stadium in Soweto and the #WeAreANC hashtag - used in last year's local government elections - was intended to support that, with a focus on unity.
But it got all the wrong sort of attention.
#WeAreANC We lie. We cheat. We steal. We take collective responsibility.— braSbu (@bra_sbu) January 2, 2017
By late on Tuesday, #WeAreANC was trending.
There were some attempts to defend the party but the criticism was more popular.
It's too early in the year for anti-ANCism. Let them flourish with their hashtag #WeAreANC please. Jan is always their time.— Jesus' Fave🙏👑 (@lulushezi) January 2, 2017
ANC national spokesman Zizi Kodwa acknowledged the online anger in his own tweets.
In the context of ongoing introspection, we cannot ignore what people think and how people feel about their organization #WeAreANC— Zizi Kodwa (@zizikodwa) January 3, 2017
Many of the concerns raised are genuine and regrettable. Dealing with them forms part of our programme of organizational renewal #WeAreANC— Zizi Kodwa (@zizikodwa) January 3, 2017
I look forward to furthering this conversation about the future of our country and its leadership in a constructive manner #WeAreANC— Zizi Kodwa (@zizikodwa) January 3, 2017
Many tweets indicated cynicism about the ANC.
Other parties seized the opportunity to take on the ruling party.
One of the most popular tweets came from Economic Freedom Fighters MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, with a meme of State Security Minister David Mahlobo contradicting himself.
Some linked the campaign to another spat between the ANC and Democratic Alliance (DA), over Tshwane's DA mayor Solly Msimanga's controversial visit to Taiwan, which the Tshwane ANC called "treason".
#WeareANC we said nothing when a Gupta plane landed in a military base. but we over hyping a Taiwan visit— Ndumiso M (@AwesomeSnowman) January 3, 2017
And others just raised often-repeated complaints about corruption and waste of state money.
Ask not what the ANC can do for you but what your tax money can do for ANC comrades. #WeAreANC— Eusebius McKaiser (@Eusebius) January 2, 2017
#WeAreANC because:— Refilwe Nkwana (@MrsNkwana) January 2, 2017
Nuclear deal ✔
Flashy lifestyle at your expense ❤❤❤
We hope Zuma will tell us on the 8 of Jan why did the ANC loose the Metros #WeAreANC— Buhle Nzimande (@nzinzimaweni) January 2, 2017
The ANC wasn't immediately available for comment.Suggest a correction