30 April 2014

South Africa: Minister's Comment Over Kenya Swimmers Sparks Twitter Storm

Photo: Government of South Africa
South African sports minister Fikile Mbalula (file photo).

Cape Town — South African Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula has sparked controversy over comments made about Kenyan athletes, the Mail and Guardian reports.

Speaking at a breakfast meeting with editors on Tuesday morning, the minister said that South Africa would not be like Kenya and send athletes to the Olympics to "drown in the pool", during a discussion on race quotas that seek to ensure greater black representation in sport.

The comment has raised the ire of Kenyan Twitter users who voiced their displeasure on the social network by using the hashtag #someonetellsouthafrica, lambasting South Africa with sarcastic comments and images, IT Web has said.

This is the second foreign relations faux pas made by a senior member of government in 6 months following President Zuma's "... this is not a national road in Malawi" statement that caused controversy when he defended the hugely unpopular electronic tolling system on major roads in Gauteng, in October last year.

Malawi summoned South African officials to explain the comments at the time.

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