Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi had to eat humble pie after falsely accusing a World Cup Rugby fan of flaunting the old South African flag.

The flag in question was, in fact, the post-1994 national standard.

But Lesufi evidently failed to pause and verify what he saw in a tweeted screenshot and fired off his own (now deleted) Tweet: ‘That flag, unfortunately is spoiling it! This team @Springboks belongs to all of us. Let’s avoid hurting each other unnecessarily. #StrongerTogether.’

As News24 reported, he was immediately called out for ‘spreading fake news, sowing division and lowering the mood after a win against Wales’. The news platform pointed out that even Clayson Monyela, spokesperson for the international relations and cooperation department, weighed in, saying: ‘These are patriots my leader. That’s our flag!’

Lesufi had to grovel. He tweeted: ‘Sincere apologies fellow South Africans [.] the initial angle was completely wrong! Let’s celebrate the team’s win @Springboks  Forward with social cohesion. We are better together than divided! Apartheid flag divides South African flag unites! Slaan hulle die volgende week!’