Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina and Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi received criticism on social media on Sunday after accusing a Bok fan of holding the old South African flag.
Lesufi later apologised to the country.
While fans were in celebratory mood following the Springboks’ defeat in Japan, Masina said the public display of the old SA flag was one of the reasons he could not support the team.
Masina didn’t apologise, though he did delete his tweet.
“More reasons I have no business in supporting this team, which some supporters still carry Apartheid flag. Shame on this barbaric display of apartheid Flag when democracy has embraced all South Africans,” he wrote, along with a picture of the fan.
More reasons I have no business in supporting this team, which some supporters still carry Apartheid flag. Shame on this barbaric display of apartheid Flag when democracy has embraced all South Africans. pic.twitter.com/cLnjUtNy6W
— Mzwandile Masina (@mzwandileMasina) October 27, 2019
Lesufi also commented on the picture and said the flag was “spoiling” the fun.
He said: “That flag, unfortunately is spoiling it! This team belongs to all of us. Let’s avoid hurting each other unnecessarily. #StrongerTogether.”
— Panyaza Lesufi (@Lesufi) October 27, 2019
While some were quick to criticise the fan with the politicians, others, however, clarified that the man was not holding the old South African flag.
Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane pointed out to Masina there was no apartheid flag in the picture.
She wrote: “Cde Mzwandile that is not an old South African flag. Please compare pictures. Let’s congratulate our team for putting up a good fight and made it to the finals.”
Palesa Motshoene said: “Comrade @Lesufi, if you look carefully, you’ll notice that it is a South African flag hanging on the gentleman’s shoulder. I know we are a highly sensitive nation but on this one, I don’t think you are correct,” while Neil McCartney wrote: “I’ve found out that that screen shot of the ‘old SA flag’ is wrong, it was the new one with an unfortunate angle and possible manipulation. Someone out there was simply racebaiting, I wonder who it could be?”
It wasn’t the old flag. The people are celebrating their captain and their team. They don’t need this fake kak. pic.twitter.com/AThuuyHFLQ
— IG: johngoliath (@JohnGoliath82) October 27, 2019
Some social media users had advised the Bok fan to sue them for defamation.