ANC elections head Fikile Mbalula has responded to Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba’s claim that he insulted the memory of three firefighters who died in a provincial government building last week.
Mashaba wants Mbalula to apologise for comments made on Thursday questioning the level of training received by the three firefighters.
Mbalula clapped back at the mayor, referring to him as “Hairman Mashaba” – an obvious reference to how the mayor made his fortune with Black Like Me hair and beauty products.
In a tweet, Mbaks said it was sad that Mashaba used the memory of “our fallen heroes ” in his defence against allegations that the firefighters had been needlessly sent to their deaths by their superiors.
“My comments yesterday were not about them [firefighters] but about the city of Johannesburg he leads,” which he alleged lacked the capacity to deal with fires.
Mbalula said the mayor himself had admitted to talk radio 702 that the City of Johannesburg had inadequate capacity to deal with fires and that officers lacked training.
“Now you are getting fired up when I advise, this is your making as a Mayor of the City?” Mbalula added in a tweet.
It’s quite sad an unfortunate that in his defense, Mayor Hairman @HermanMashaba uses the memory of our fallen heroes in the JHB fire. My comments yesterday were not about them but about the City of JHB he leads and has himself agreed that it lacks the capacity to deal with fires. pic.twitter.com/zG0MI9zc2f
— Fikile (Mr Fearfokkol) (@MbalulaFikile) September 14, 2018
Mashaba said everyone, however, blamed the ANC for the tragedy and that was why no ANC member could speak at the memorial on Wednesday.
“The deathtrap that was called an office building saw our brave firefighters sent into certain death because the ANC did not care to remedy defects which made the building unsafe.”
The mayor wanted Mbalula to apologise to the colleagues and families of the three firefighters for his comments. He advised Mbalula to stick to matters he was qualified to speak on and leave the memory of the firefighters alone.
Clearly, that isn’t going to happen.