Minister in the Presidency, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has distanced herself from a tweet on her official Twitter account that accused Democratic Alliance (DA) members of bribing individuals to cause chaos in the North West province.
The tweet, which has since been removed, cited "anonymous sources" for the accusation, and linked users to a YouTube news report published by ANN7.
"Hello south Africans. What is actually happening in our Province? See this youtube.com/watch?v=Gxafjp... News from anonymous community members that @Our_DA members in the province are bribing select community members to cause chaos in the Province? Good day to you," the tweet read.
On Saturday morning however, the tweet was removed.
Dlamini-Zuma later issued an apology, saying the tweet did not represent her views, claiming her account had been hacked.
My sincere and deepest apologies to @Our_DA, it's supporters and leadership for the previous tweets. They are NOT my views. My account has been hacked and this sinister act is most unfortunate at a time when I'm paying my last respects to my comrade.— Dr Dlamini Zuma (@DlaminiZuma) April 21, 2018
I will take responsibility because it is my Twitter account and I'm a public figure but rest assured that those are NOT my views. Again I apologize.— Dr Dlamini Zuma (@DlaminiZuma) April 21, 2018
The allegations come at a time when violent protests have rocked the town of Mahikeng this week.
In a scathing response, DA leader Mmusi Maimane, who was visiting Mahikeng on Saturday, said her tweet was "sheer nonsense."
Dear Minister. This is a serious fabrication, with no truth to it. The violence in Mahikeng is a result of ANC ignoring the people. I will happily go with you there tomorrow and we can see what evidence these "anonymous community members" have to back up this claim. Let me know.— Mmusi Maimane (@MmusiMaimane) April 20, 2018
Supra remains in office, hospital and clinics are dysfunctional. So while the Anc engage, South Africans in #Mahikeng are left without service. Our worry is what happens when KZN, FS, MP and other provinces face similar. May we have a peaceful and speedy resolution.— Mmusi Maimane (@MmusiMaimane) April 20, 2018
"It shows that she is not fit for leadership. It shows the ANC doesn't care about the people. People are raising legitimate concerns here.
"They are concerned about their healthcare, they are concerned about their safety, they are concerned about the fact that even here hospitals have been closed."
"For Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to tweet about such issues, A, [it shows] how distant the ANC is from the people and B, how much they don't really care.
"No-one has been paid. People want to fabricate rubbish like that shows that these people no longer know what is happening in South Africa, let alone care for the people of South Africa."
DA MP Phumzile van Damme earlier on Saturday, in response to Dlamini-Zuma's allegedly fabricated tweet, questioned whether the former presidential hopeful would "claimed she was "hacked" again".
@DlaminiZuma has now deleted the tweet. Will she claim she was "hacked" again? An apology to SA is needed!" Van Damme wrote.
Dlamini-Zuma, later, indeed claimed her account had been hacked.
Yes, naughty hackers always posting outrageous tweets on her account. It only happens to her, no other high profile politicians. Poor her. https://t.co/qK3TuhyjXD— Phumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) April 21, 2018
"Naughty hackers always posting outrageous tweets on her account. It only happens to her, no other high profile politicians. Poor her," Van Damme wrote later on following Dlamini-Zuma's apology.
In her subsequent tweets, Dlamini-Zuma expressed her "deepest and sincerest" apologies to the DA. She is currently at the funeral service of ANC struggle stalwart Zola Skweyiya.
-- News24 and HuffPost