‘I was attacked,’ says Mbalula after making headlines over ‘Twitter meltdown’

The minister has been caught in a spat on social media with the MKMVA’s spokesperson Carl Niehaus after describing those demonstrating at the start of the week thugs.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula speaks at the Western Cape taxi lekgotla in Cape Town on 15 October 2020. Picture: @MbalulaFikile/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee (NEC) member and Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula on Friday said he had “no other choice but to attack”.

Mbalula during a virtual engagement with the ANC in Moses Mabhida region in KwaZulu-Natal said it could never be that ANC or Umkhonto we Sizwe members would call for the arrest of a minister deployed by the party to government.

The minister has been caught in a spat on social media with the MKMVA’s spokesperson Carl Niehaus after describing those demonstrating at the start of the week thugs.

He went to call Niehaus a thug and MKMVA president Kebby Maphatsoe a suspected criminal.

During his evening talk on Wednesday, the minister said he understood that some wouldn’t agree with him but he had no choice.

He said he saw himself as “a man in the eye of the storm” after a week of making headlines in what some have described as a meltdown on Twitter.

He told those attending the virtual engagement he was attacking a tendency and that he was left no choice but to respond.

“And I attacked stronger from where I came from because I was attacked from where I was deployed.”

Mbalula, who held very little back and joked about sounding like US President Donald Trump during the engagement, told participants this storm would still continue.

The minister said he had no personal agenda but was merely carrying out what the ANC wanted him to do.

“If people want something from me, they must talk to the ANC and that will resolve it. That’s it.”

Niehaus has indicated that he will be going the legal route to challenge Mbalula’s utterances.

SA UNDERGOING NASREC RESOLUTION

Mbalula added South Africa was currently undergoing a Nasrec revolution.

He said the latest action by law enforcement and the state capture commission were part of the party’s renewal project adopted at the 2017 Nasrec elective conference.

This is where President Cyril Ramaphosa narrowly defeated Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to become the party’s president and ultimately the country’s number one.

A long hard look at the governing party has left Mbalula sure that it’s some of the party’s leaders who were destroying the ANC.

Without making mention of its secretary general who Mbalula expressed a lack of faith in, he cautioned members to separate individuals from the party.

“If Mbalula has faced difficulties with the law, support Mbalula but don’t bring the ANC in.”

Mbalula said the ANC set high standards for itself at the 2017 elective conference but it seemed it was starting to regress from that in some ways, again warning that he’d rather see individuals dealt with and the organisation left alone.

“And if it means we’ve got to deal with each other and save the ANC, let it be.”

He also acknowledged that the attempts to clamp down on corruption are part of the ANC’s big mission to renew itself.

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