ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula took to Twitter, as he is known to do, to confront Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba.
Mbalula dug up an old tweet from the Joburg department of economic development, quoting Mashaba on how he started as an entrepreneur.
“I started a career in business after buying a car, I sold products from the boot of my car,” Mashaba is quoted as saying.
“Honorable Hairman Mashaba, was this legal?” was Mbalula’s response on Wednesday, in what was almost certainly a reaction to a tweet from Mashaba that went viral for all the wrong reasons.
Mashaba made himself unpopular on Twitter on Monday after tweeting a picture of a man pulling a trolley of cow heads, boasting about having stopped what he called an “illegal” act.
“I have just personally stopped this [illegal] act in our city. How do we allow meat trading like this? I am waiting for @AsktheChiefJMPD to come and attend before we experience a breakdown of unknown diseases in our @CityofJoburgZA,” he said.
He was applauded for his commitment to cleanliness by only a few, with most slamming him for what they called his killing of a small business, with one user questioning if he shouldn’t be reserving his crime-fighting skills for “real thugs committing real, violent crime”.
Herman is the name. And your thirst for attention is sad.
— Herman Mashaba (@HermanMashaba) November 13, 2018
Mashaba responded, but chose not to address the issue of whether or not his early ventures as an entrepreneur were executed legally, choosing instead to take issue with Mbalula’s use of his popular nickname, Hairman, which he got for his role as owner of Black Like Me hair-care products, a venture that made him very wealthy before he entered politics. The nickname is used mainly by his detractors.
“Herman is the name,” the mayor clarified, adding that he thought Mbalula’s “thirst for attention [was] sad”.