The former leader of South Africa’s opposition Democratic Alliance has told President Emmerson Mnangagwa to shut up over the current situation in South Africa, saying the Zimbabwean president is the “biggest thug” in southern Africa.
Mmusi Aloysias Maimane, who was the DA leader from 2015 to 2019, made these remarks when he was reacting to Mnangagwa’s appeal for calm in South Africa following several days of violence and looting, sparked by the jailing of former South African president, Jacob Zuma.
In a tweet, Maimane said, “Of all people you must shut up the most. You have been brutally killing civilians for 41 years. You know nothing of peace and everything about violence. Thula (shut up) Mnangagwa. South Africa needs no advice about peace from the biggest thug in the region. The reigning champion of oppression in SADC. Sies.”
Maimane is optimistic that South Africa would end the current violence in which, according to Reuters, over 3,000 people have been arrested nationwide for engaging in violent activities linked to Zuma’s 15-month incarceration for contempt of court.
“Let there be peace in our nation. It’s been a historic week, a reminder (of) how fragile our nation is, but equally a reminder of how we can stand together in a time of crisis. We will build one nation, regardless of race! Together we shall prosper!”
Mnangagwa’s spokesperson, George Charamba, was unreachable for comment. Charamba has of late been posting videos on Twitter linked to the violence and looting in the southern African nation. One of the posts shows some unidentified vigilantes, protecting their business interests, forcing a large number of naked suspected thieves to walk on their fours like monkeys.
Charamba posted another video showing some people beating up suspects with whips and other objects. One of the suspected looters has the infamous vehicle tyre laced with petrol, used during the apartheid era to kill supporters of the white minority government, placed around his waist.
In his note on Twitter, Mnangagwa said, “On behalf of all Zimbabweans, both at home and abroad, we wish that the current challenges plaguing our South African brothers and sisters are resolved peacefully. Only when there is peace in South Africa, is there peace in our region.”
The tweet angered Maimane and other people, including one identified on Twitter as Liberte la Lebarte, who said, “You (Mnangagwa) have no moral ground to mention what's happening in South Africa at all.”
His remarks were echoed by Sello Mamadi, who was convinced that South Africa would address the current violence and looting of goods in shops and other places.
“We have our problem here in South Africa. But we will deal with it. Create jobs for our brothers in Zimbabwe then we will see your (Mnangagwa) leadership. Charity begins at Home…”
Some people backed Mnangagwa for calling for calm in South Africa with Delante WeSavannah praising him for his tweet. “Well said my president S. A. based investors should consider more peaceful places like Zimbabwe.”
Lewis Matutu also praised Mnangagwa’s tweet saying, “The President said they’re challenges plaguing our neighbor South Africa, he never said there is a crisis in South Africa … Peace should prevail at all times even as South Africa pushes for the economic empowerment and emancipation of her indigenous black people.”
Another person, identified only as Munyaradzi on Twitter, also took Maimane headon. Munyaradzi said, “At the end of the day the question remains ‘Has sanity been restored?. I see a monumental failure by the SA government in addressing their issues. They started failing in 1994.”
Zuma was locked up a few days ago for declining to appear before a commission of inquiry led by Raymond Zondo probing allegations of graft levelled against him. The state claims that Zuma was manipulated by some Indians, who plundered the country’s economy, before fleeing after the government started investigating their business interests.
The 79 year-old former president is jailed at Estcourt Correctional Center.