Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba has received backlash for a joke he made about tropical storm Dineo. Taking to Twitter on Thursday, Gigaba tweeted he had declared the storm a undesirable person in South Africa. “So she will stay in Mozambique,” he said.
Minister of Sports and Recreation Fikile Mbalula was one of the people who responded and said he had issued “her” with a red card. “Enough with 6 scorers that disturb peace. Dineo must be halted,” he said.
I've declared #Dineo an undesirable person in RSA and so she will stay in Mozambique.
— Malusi Gigaba (@mgigaba) February 16, 2017
Though some, including the ministers, thought the tweets were funny, most criticised Gigaba for making a joke about something as serious as the storm that is reported to have claimed seven lives so far.
Also issued her with a red card – enough with 6 scorers that disturb peace. Dineo must be halted. https://t.co/fZbFHPpPvk
— RSA Min of Sport (@MbalulaFikile) February 16, 2017
“I suppose you would still find it funny if you were directly affected by losing loved ones and be displaced?” Asked one of the people who were infuriated.
These were some of the comments he got:
“If this is all but a joke to you, then you’ve proven once again that you are a bona fide ANC member…you learned from the best.”
“Unbecoming of a government minister to make jokes about such a disaster. Humanity has lost its empathy, the one thing that made us human.”
“For someone in your position you should send condolences to the families of the victims of
#Dineo not make unamusing jokes.”
“This sums up SA attitude towards other African brothers. I’m not politicking though.”
“Seven people died and infrastructure has been destroyed in an already poor country. Shocked that you find that funny Sir.”
“It’s sad that you believe that the bad stuff should stay in Mozambique. People died there because of Dineo. You know?”
Some, however, told the critics to “sit down” and enjoy the joke as that was “how South Africans talk, deal with it”, they said.
Dineo has killed seven people and seriously injured 14 others in Mozambique since its arrival on the eastern coast earlier this week, according to Mozambique government sources.
Ladysmith, in Northern KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), was initially plotted to be in the path of the incoming storm.
The earliest predictions had Dineo hitting northernmost KZN hard.
On Thursday, however, studying charts and satellite images, meteorologists could finally accurately predict that most of Northern KZN would be spared the full brunt of Cyclone Dineo.
Additional reporting by CNS.