Minister of Sport and Recreation Fikile Mbalula took to social media to lambast a prominent editor for his newspaper’s misspelling of rising cricketer Kagiso Rabada’s surname.
In an array of tweets, the minister accused Netwerk24 editor-in-chief and former Beeld editor Adriaan Basson of being sexist and “throwing racial undertones on black excellence”.
This comes after Beeld misspelt Rabada’s surname in a poster, calling him ‘Radaba’, an incident that sparked an uproar on Twitter, not only from the minister but the public in general.
The poster, which read in Afrikaans “Radaba die drama queen (Radaba the drama queen)”, also triggered a debate on why Beeld would choose a ostensibly ‘negative angle’ on the Proteas’ new young star.
“In one headline @AdriaanBasson successfully managed to be sexist and throw racial undertones on Black Excellence,” tweeted Mbalula.
“Editor @AdriaanBasson and his reporters chose to have that headline when everyone is celebrating Black Excellence, they mock it,” added Mbalula.
Minutes later Basson tweeted Mbalula, saying: “Min @MbalulaFikile will you respond to our Jurie Roux stories? CEO of SARU implicated in fraud is important not?”
Basson was referring to South African Rugby Union (SARU) CEO Jurie Roux being accused of ‘manipulating’ financial management systems to favour the rugby programme during his time at Stellenbosch University.
This is not the first time the two had a go at each other on Twitter. In May last year, a war of words erupted after Mbalula tweeted he was in Las Vegas to attend a boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
Basson questioned the minister on who funded his trip to Las Vegas and a verbal war ensued between the two when Mbalula insisted he was there in his personal capacity and had not travelled on state funds.