Daniel Friedman
2 minute read
14 Nov 2018
8:54 am

Mashaba draws scorn and ridicule with ‘Ebolas’ tweet

Daniel Friedman

The Joburg mayor has been mocked for his ignorance when it comes to 'Ebolas' and accused of xenophobia yet again.

Picture shared on Twitter by Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba, 13 November 2018.

Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba has not been making himself popular on Twitter recently.

It started with the former hair-care magnate turned Democratic Alliance (DA) politician drawing controversy by tweeting that he stopped a man from selling cow heads, or “skopo”.

He said that the man with his trolley of cow heads was committing an “illegal” act and said he’d called the police on the salesman.

READ MORE: Twitter slates Mashaba for criticising ‘skopo’ seller

This attracted scorn, with only a few praising Mashaba’s preoccupation with cleanliness and many saying that he was failing to show support for small businesses and robbing the man of his livelihood.

When confronted, he doubled down in a second tweet which has provoked both outrage and mockery.

This time, he said that he would not “sit back” and allow “people like you to bring us Ebolas in the name of small business”.

The tweet has both been ridiculed for Mashaba’s random pluralisation of the word “Ebola” and attacked for its apparent ignorance when it comes to how the disease is actually spread.

Many also accused Mashaba of xenophobia, as he had reportedly said that the man selling ‘skopo’ was an illegal immigrant.

READ MORE: ‘Mr Fearfokkol’ trolls ‘Hairman’ Mashaba about the legality of his business

Some suggested that his use of the term “people like you” indicates a belief that foreigners bring disease to South Africa. The Joburg mayor has been accused of xenophobia several times before.

These accusations are as a result of several comments, including him saying that “foreigners‚ whether legal or illegal‚ are not the responsibility of the city” and that his municipality “will only provide accommodation exclusively to South Africans”.

Below are only a few of the reactions to the ‘Ebolas’ tweet.

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