The Nelson Mandela Foundation has noted the tweets posted by South Africa’s ambassador to Denmark, Zindzi Mandela, but said it had no intention of requestion a meeting with her.
The tweets, which caused quite a stir, contained phrases calling white South Africans are “land thieves” and “apartheid apologists” who are just like “unwelcome guests”.
The 59-year-old daughter of former president Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela added that white people were making a mistake by clinging to their “good native” fantasies, and that it was time black South Africans took their land back.
“Whilst I dine and wine here … wondering how the world of shivering land thieves is doing,” Mandela wrote on Twitter on Thursday night.
Her tirade on the social media platform started with the following words: “Dear Apartheid Apologists, your time is over. You will not rule again. We do not fear you. Finally #TheLandIsOurs.”
When Mandela’s undiplomatic comments were criticised, she said she was not answerable to any white man or woman.
“No missus or baas here. Get over yourselves,” was one response.
“Will be back for the Msunery #OnMyTsnCs. Miss all these trembling white cowards, shem. Botha, Potgieter, Thieving Rapist Descendents of Van Riebeeck, etc: how are you my babies? We shall gesels more Mr Skont and Ms Unus #OurLand,” she wrote in another tweet.
Mandela also retweeted several posts by other Twitter users, including one that used the pejorative reference “1652” to refer to white people.
It read: “I am not surprised by the reaction of the 1652s really but their time is coming to and [sic] end Shem and these are the last kicks of a scared and dying horse.”
Sandra Botha, a former DA leader in Parliament who was an ambassador in the Czech Republic between 2009 and December 2012, said on Twitter: “Please someone [tell] me this is not a real account from a real South African Ambassador. It can’t be.”
Another former ambassador, David Jacobs, told City Press’ sister publication Rapport that the comments were “divisive and are burning bridges at a very sensitive stage of our history. It will do great damage to the international confidence we so desperately need.”
Clayson Monyela, spokesperson for the department of international relations and cooperation, said he could not reach Mandela yesterday to verify if the Twitter account was indeed hers.
“We cannot comment before we have spoken to her,” he said.
Luzuko Koti, the communications director at the Nelson Mandela Foundation, which is currently involved in litigation to have the old South African flag declared hate speech, yesterday said the foundation had noted the tweets but had no intention of requesting a meeting with Mandela regarding the tweets, as had been earlier reported.
“We will comment after we have discussed the issue with her,” said Koti.
Advocate André Gaum, a commissioner at the SA Human Rights Commission, said that if a complaint was received by the commission, it would investigated.
The racist and divisive statements made my Ms Zindzi Mandela, South Africa’s ambassador in Denmark, are totally unacceptable, even more so coming from an ambassador, and the FF Plus insists that the government must take action against her at once.
Meanwhile, Dr Pieter Groenewald from the Freedom Front Plus says that Ms Mandela apparently does not see the irony of the fact that she is launching an attack on white people in her own country from a successful Eurocentric country by disparaging them as “land thieves and Apartheid apologists” who are like “those uninvited visitors who don’t want to leave”.
On top of that, as an ambassador she is quite happy to accept payment whilst in a European country.
Ms Mandela owes all South Africans an apology. Making such statements outside of South Africa’s borders does not indemnify her against accountability.
There is also no way that she can justify the statements by saying that she made them in her personal capacity. Any statement made by a high-profile government official on a social media platform for all the world to see cannot be labelled private.
Until now, the ANC government has opted to look the other way when black politicians openly attack white people and incite racialism.
In this case, however, the government will not be able to ignore it and remain silent seeing as one of its ambassadors is involved. Remaining silent will still send a loud and clear message of approval regarding this kind of racist rhetoric that is truly detrimental to racial relations in South Africa and that can also greatly damage the country’s image among the international community.
In the interest of all peace-loving South Africans, the FF Plus will not just let this go. Ms Mandela must be called to account for her irresponsible behaviour.
This article was amended on June 18 2019 to amend the response from the Nelson Mandela Foundation over the tweets.
SA news team