Ambassador Mandela’s ‘divisive, racist’ tweets called out

Staff Writer | Jun 17, 2019
Race-baiting by South Africa’s ambassador to Denmark Zindzi Mandela has highlighted the dearth of professional envoys in the country’s diplomatic corps.

References to ‘these trembling white cowards’, ‘Thieving Rapist descendants of Van Riebeck’ (sic) and ‘shivering land thieves’ have peppered tweets by Ambassador Mandela, daughter of the late Nelson and Winnie Mandela.

Among other comments, she tweeted: ‘Dear Apartheid Apologists, your time is over. You will not rule again. We do not fear you. Finally #TheLandIsOurs.’

Another read, in part: ‘Miss all these trembling white cowards, shem. Botha, Potgieter, Thieving Rapist descendants of Van Riebeck, etc: how are you my babies?’

In response to a tweet calling on Mandela to stop flirting with the EFF, the 58-year-old ambassador responded: ‘I don't flirt with @EFFSouthAfrica I have deep, pure unconditional love and respect for @Julius_S_Malema and that won't stop. Mandela Legacy? Are you talking about both my parents who loved and respected CIC?”

When challenged on her comments, Mandela took on her opponents thus: ‘Whilst I wine and dine here ... wondering how the world of shivering land thieves is doing #OurLand', ‘I thought you were posted to Orania Oom Looter #OurLand' and ‘Go back to bed Piet Pompies #OurLand'

In a statement, AfriForum called on Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor to dismiss Mandela over the tweets, which it described as ‘extremely divisive, racist’.

‘With her Twitter messages, Mandela displayed a rancorous attitude towards white residents in the country and, in a very public arena, contributed to the division of local communities. With false allegations and demeaning terms such as “cowards” and “land thieves”, she is contributing to a dangerous discourse of scapegoating,’ AfriForum said.

This demonstrated a ‘complete lack of insight into her responsibility in her position as ambassador’, and was ‘inconsistent with the South African Constitution, which clearly states that the country belongs to everyone’.

Ambassadorial postings are largely seen as a sinecure to reward former politicians, some of whom seem to be sent as far away from South Africa as possible. But the risks in non-professional diplomats being appointed to enhance relationships with other countries has been brought into sharp relief by Mandela’s bizarre Twitter utterings.

The latest polling on race relations conducted by the IRR shows that while the majority of South Africans are moderate and respectful in sentiment, the effect of politicians engaging in racial nationalistic rhetoric and race-baiting is evident in a rise in the number of black respondents (62%) agreeing that whites should take second place.

Equally, the survey finds that 60% think that ‘all this talk about racism and colonialism is politicians trying to find excuses for their own failures’. It also finds that 86% of blacks agree that the different races need each other for progress.

The IRR invites the moderate majority of South Africans to join in helping to Unite the Middle.


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