Finance minister Tito Mboweni on Monday jokingly cancelled a Twitter question-and-answer session – about which he had seemed serious – after stirring up trouble on the platform, then denying there was anything to be worried about.
Just about everyone was disappointed, including the rand.
Mboweni promised the Q&A on Friday.
We will do a live Twitter Q and A session on Monday at 11.00. Be ready with your questions. Topic: the SA Economy.— Tito Mboweni (@tito_mboweni) November 8, 2018
But 24 minutes before it was due to start, he pulled out.
The Q & A session has been postponed. We will do this once I have concluded consultations with Mr Fikile “Fearfokol” Mbalula.— Tito Mboweni (@tito_mboweni) November 12, 2018
Beyond his formal responsibilities within the ANC, Mbalula is something of a Twitter champion for the party, with a 1.58 million follower count that far outstrips that of the Mboweni, or the ANC's official accounts.
Wars start in different ways. Spears and shields, gun powder, bullets, and now through media: printed and electronic ( eg trade wars by a super power President ), and then Social media!! Well, the SA Editors must be Editors!! If needs be, we will be forced into the fight, WAR!— Tito Mboweni (@tito_mboweni) November 8, 2018
The time to be gentle is OVER. The line has been drawn on the sand! This far and no further. Ma ku lwiwe maqawe!!— Tito Mboweni (@tito_mboweni) November 8, 2018
... but before he started quoting verses from the Bible, including one about peace.
“You will live in joy and peace.The mountains and the hills will burst out into song,And the trees of the field will clap with their hands”. Amen!Isaiah 55:12— Tito Mboweni (@tito_mboweni) November 9, 2018
He later told News24 that there was nothing to worry about in his jingoistic tweets.
The rand fell slightly in intraday trading after Mboweni pulled out of the Q&A, but rapidly recovered from that apparently unrelated blip.
The Twitter users who had been eagerly anticipating the Q&A were not so easily mollified.
On second thought, maybe he should keep his smartphone. It is highly entertaining to have a maverick finance minister.— Palesa Morudu (@palesa_morudu) November 12, 2018
We were raring to go??— Desiree Chauke (@DesireeChauke) November 12, 2018
Kudlaliwe ngathi??????????????????— I heart SANIE???? (@sanneth5) November 12, 2018
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