Khusela Diko’s plea to “pray for America” has sparked counter-calls to Pray for South Africa, with social media users criticising her “bizarre” plea.
Diko is currently on special leave from duties as spokesperson to President Cyril Ramaphosa over corruption allegations involving her and her husband, Thandisizwe Diko, in a multimillion-rand tender irregularities in the Gauteng department of health.
This came after outgoing US President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed a session of Congress held on Wednesday to certify president-elect Joe Biden’s election win, triggering unprecedented chaos and violence, and accusations that Trump was fomenting a coup.
Security forces fired teargas in a four-hour operation to clear the the Capitol Building. Police said one woman was shot and killed and that three other people died in the area in circumstances that were unclear.
Reports have been trending on social media, with people from all over the world voicing their opinion on the matter, mostly condemnation.
Diko, however, was criticised for calling on people to “Pray for America”.
— Khusela Diko???????? (@KhuselaS) January 6, 2021
Diko’s comment shocked South Africans, including Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema, and One SA leader Mmusi Maimane, who said her prayer request was incomplete.
He banna, wena?
— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) January 6, 2021
You are right that we must pray for a peaceful transition in the most important democracy on earth.
The prayer list is incomplete though, I will be praying for PPE funds to be returned as well.
I will be praying for competent leaders who can get South Africans a vaccine asap.
— Mmusi Maimane (@MmusiMaimane) January 6, 2021
She has now come out to say she was being sarcastic.
Sarcasm: the use of irony to mock or convey contempt *SMH* https://t.co/tbMAp4711g
— Khusela Diko???????? (@KhuselaS) January 7, 2021
Those who criticised her said South Africa needed the prayers more, following allegations of widespread personal protective equipment (PPE) corruption by government officials.
Additional reporting by AFP