There was a heated to-and-fro between former tourism minister Derek Hanekom and Police Minister Fikile Mbalula on Twitter over the alleged seizure by police of R2.5-million in cash destined for the pockets of ANC voting delegates ahead of the party's national conference.
It all began when Mbalalu, who has come out in support of presidential candidate Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, on Tuesday afternoon posted a picture of a bag of money claiming that police had seized the cash in an intelligence-driven operation. The money was said to be used for bribing delegates at the conference.
But Twitter was quick to respond, with some users doing a reverse search on the image which revealed that it was taken last year during an arrest in Cape Town. Mbalula was accused of using false information to spread factional propaganda, but he was quick to respond.
Issue here is not origin of the IMAGE (which is from 2006) but the context of the tweet.— RSA Minister of Police (@MbalulaFikile) December 12, 2017
I happen to be the Minister of Police - and you use Google Reverse Search to challenge a tweet that speaks to what is happening now.
It's called image illustration. https://t.co/fXbvPoV7rp
Hanekom, who is an avid supporter of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, also called out the police minister.
He must go. https://t.co/IoDdaKcbf4— Derek Hanekom (@Derek_Hanekom) December 12, 2017
Where must I go Cadre Derek ?— RSA Minister of Police (@MbalulaFikile) December 12, 2017
Do you know this money I was talking about ?
The only place I want to go is where it came from - direct me please sizobamba abantu banye https://t.co/gjcTFiinjs
Please Mister Minister, just tell us about all the gifts you have received and not declared. Just come clean. Your hands are not clean, and you know it. https://t.co/xHe586guz4— Derek Hanekom (@Derek_Hanekom) December 12, 2017
Just do yourself a favour and come clean. Break away from the Guptas; their protectors and those captured by them. For your own sake and for the Movement and country that you love. https://t.co/DNFitH6iZ0— Derek Hanekom (@Derek_Hanekom) December 12, 2017
Mbalula hit back, claiming he was the first person to speak out about the influence of the Gupta family over the ANC.
As you know, I'm the first person to speak out against the Gupta in the ANC NEC. Before you and Co got rid of Malema and we urged you not to. I don't think you are best placed to give advice.— RSA Minister of Police (@MbalulaFikile) December 12, 2017
You were part of this same Gov 8 month ago and part of the very same ANC. https://t.co/gUY14xJR8M
You must stop being fine with the status quo. ANC delegates made you apologize at the Policy Conference recently when you said Land Without Compensation is nonsense.— RSA Minister of Police (@MbalulaFikile) December 12, 2017
Your Retweets Brigade isn't a ANC constituency - there won't be there when you apologize for something else. https://t.co/gUY14xJR8M
Pres Zuma served 120 months at the ANC Presidency & you pride yourself from doing so in the last 13 of his tenure.— RSA Minister of Police (@MbalulaFikile) December 12, 2017
Everyone could see that was for political expediency.
You served in his government and never voluntarily opted out - you still serve along with him in ANC NEC. https://t.co/1UVPzSuSt9
You know very well, as does the whole country, that 13 months ago I, and a number of others (not you), respectfully asked the President to step down. Just do yourself a favour my comrade... https://t.co/WqToENVbwn— Derek Hanekom (@Derek_Hanekom) December 12, 2017
After the showdown, Mbalula admitted there was no animosity between the two.
Cadre we ain't fighting dawg, greatly respect you.— RSA Minister of Police (@MbalulaFikile) December 12, 2017
As the first person who spoke out against the Guptas before it was fashionable for you all - I challenge you to speak out against Steinhoff with same energy on Guptas.
Young people in the ANC want change in Policy. Get onboard https://t.co/gUY14xJR8M
Good night Cde Derek this is called battle of ideas despite my political misgivings about you, you are my cde....No Animosity— RSA Minister of Police (@MbalulaFikile) December 12, 2017