German ambassador to South Africa Martin Schafer had Twitter in stitches on Wednesday morning after a tweet on punctuality.
In the tweet, Schafer arrives at his office three minutes late and is scolded by an employee when he arrives.
"Seems like the German ambassador can learn a lot from Cyril Ramaphosa and ANC on punctuality?" he said.
Just arrived at the office this morning, 3 minutes late. Seems like the German ambassador can learn a lot from @Cyrilramaphosa and ANC on punctuality? #anc106 #punctuality #nownow #germancliches pic.twitter.com/b7xMvBTu1C— Martin Schäfer (@AmbSchaefer) January 16, 2018
Ramaphosa called for a new culture of "being on time" during the ANC's 106th birthday celebrations in East London last week.
He was quoted by IOL as saying, "As you can see, this year we started on time. It's a clear signal that things are changing. The NEC [national executive committee] meeting also started on time. [Former president] Nelson Mandela would have been pleased... We want a new culture to spread. When we have a meeting, it should start on time."
Schafer received a scolding from the DA's Phumzile van Damme.
Tsk tsk— Phumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) January 16, 2018
‚Tsk tsk' - is that Dutch?— Martin Schäfer (@AmbSchaefer) January 16, 2018
It's English. I am judging your tardiness. Very unGerman 😜— Phumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) January 16, 2018
Very. - I thought it might have been a proper reflection of your Dutch environment. Are they on time? Return safely!— Martin Schäfer (@AmbSchaefer) January 16, 2018
He was also reprimanded by the British high commissioner to South Africa, Nigel Casey, who warned him not to be late for a meeting with "the president" tomorrow.
Now we know why you were also late arriving at EU meeting today. Please don't be late for the President tomorrow 😉— Nigel Casey (@NigelCaseyHC) January 16, 2018
Possibly in reference to the fact that President Jacob Zuma arrived late to the 106th birthday celebrations, Schafer quipped:
I'll try my best. And need to be there before the President ...— Martin Schäfer (@AmbSchaefer) January 16, 2018
Schafer received high praise for having a sense of humour, in an area of politics characterised by stern diplomacy.
Awesome to to see a sense of humor in politics/diplomacy.— Vocal Citizen (@CitizenVocal) January 16, 2018
Yay! Someone in politics with a sense of humour!— griffin (@watkykjy) January 16, 2018
And Mr Ambassador even managed to sneak in a bit of publicity for the German automotive industry! Very funny, thank you— Dave (@dave_7808) January 16, 2018