Derek Hanekom denies having a German passport

Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom.

Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom.

The minister at the forefront of calling for Zuma to go has clarified that so-called rumours about his patriotism are bogus.

In the wake of news that Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom was the cabinet member this weekend at the ANC’s national executive committee meeting leading the charge for President Jacob Zuma to step down, apparent attempts to tarnish his name have already started on social media.

According to Zuma supporter Kenny Kunene, questions needed to be asked about the minister’s patriotism because Kunene had somehow heard “the rumour” that Hanekom had a German passport in addition to his South African one.

He tweeted the minister about it directly and received a response not long after.

Hanekom told him that Kunene was perhaps getting confused about his Ghanaian passport, which he said was nearly three decades old and probably expired.

He said that he definitely did not have a German passport.

Users on Twitter were quick to condemn Kunene for his comment, with one calling him a “popcorn politician” and others disputing whether patriotism was even such a good thing. Others said the number of passports you might have should not be used as a gauge of one’s patriotism.

By contrast, there were messages of support for the minister. Some questioned why this was only now suddenly an issue.

Zuma is facing a shock motion of no confidence from top ANC leaders after Hanekom’s motion of no confidence in Zuma was proposed and was seconded by many NEC members.

News24 reported on Monday morning that the other ministers asking for Zuma to step down were Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi. They were strongly supported by ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu.


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