Here are the facts.
Last week, 27 April 2018, on Freedom Day, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader, Mmusi Maimane visited Soshanguve in Pretoria for a rally. During the rally, Maimane gave a scheduled address. However, what he had to say would have later repercussions.
When Maimane addressed crowds, this was what he had to say:
“I want to ask you, which party would Nelson Mandela have dreamed of?”
“People phone me. They are on Twitter, they are on Facebook. They say Mmusi Maimane, you are a mini-Mandela.”
For those who may be sceptical over the validity of Maimane’s quote, it was captured on camera by the SABC. The video was then posted on Twitter by prominent users on that platform, such as Tumi Sole and others.
South African Twitter wasted no time in responding to Maimane’s speech.
These are some of the comments posted:
Hi @MmusiMaimane, I’m Musa, a concerned citizen. I’d like to know who called you mini-Mandela. Do you have actual proof that you’d like to share with us? A screenshot or a short video will do.
Even if people called me mini-Mandela, I wouldn’t say it out loud. I would say it in hushed tones in the confines of my closest friends. I would never publicise it at all. But that’s just the mortal me…😂😂😂😂😂
Who exactly are these people who think Moosi is a mini Mandela? 🙄🙄🙄
Some Twitter users have attempted to contextualise Maimane’s quote. The assumption by some is that the politician was not singing his own praises but explaining how he has been perceived by social media users as a ‘sell-out’.
One user explained:
People don’t understand what Maimane meant when he said mini Mandela, it makes sense since Mandela is a sellout. Get it… mini sellout.
Maimane has not commented on the speculation and indeed the back and forth discussion about his remarks.
However, seeing that the posted video clip is only a few seconds long. Maimane’s intended meaning may have been lost.
But, in whichever context Maimane spoke, he most certainly did refer to himself as mini-Mandela.