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Industry veterans roast Penny Lebyane for backing R22m ‘vanity’ flag project

Penny Lebyane. Picture: Instagram

Penny Lebyane. Picture: Instagram

Published May 18, 2022

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TV and radio personality Penny Lebyane recently took to Twitter to support South Africa's Sports, Arts and Culture Department’s decision to spend R22 million to install a massive flag and flagpole to be known as the South African National Monumental Flag.

In a two-fold tweet, Lebyane clapped back at multi-media personality Bonang Matheba, who recently tweeted against the Monumental Flag, saying that the minister is “useless” and "we hate” him.

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Then Lebyane questioned tweeps on the back of the multi-million rand project.

She tweeted: “Obviously @NathiMthethwaSA is not liked by a whole industry that hates itself so nothing new there for me. But l have a question.

“How did they build your favorites The Eiffel Tower in Parys, Statue Of Liberty in NewYork, Christ The Redemeer in Rio De Janeiro? Why do u like them?”

The tweet sparked outrage, leaving other celebrities questioning her loyalty to the arts industry.

In a thread Lebyane wrote: “U’ll will say l’m paid to ask this, let me free u I am not. Even @Silapha_ l understand the magnitude of the SA arts.

“Personally l don’t hate the minister l just work,make the best of every situation or opportunity for myself & l will wear a SA dress/Flag any where in the 🌍.”

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“I have not studied the feasibility document on the Flag to cost 22 Million so I’m limited there but it doesn’t sound like a lot of money for something that will out live me.

“Hating the minister can’t be the reason why creatives themselves don’t commit to fixing their problems.”

Veteran radio and television presenter Robert Marawa commented: “They were NOT flags!! They were NOT vanity projects in a struggling economy of mass youth unemployment caused by a thieving government!!”

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Lebyane tweeted back: “I read all of that before my tweet.”

The two ended up in a twar before Marawa said: “U came in defence of a department that has severely let down an entire sporting and arts fraternity and I've seen it first-hand!! I offered u facts to ur redundant and irrelevant question...No "back & forth" needed my dear sister. 🇿🇦🤝🏽🇿🇦”

Olwethu "King Olwee" Mlotshwa said: “Penny, this is ridiculous expenditure. The Eiffel Tower was built to celebrate 100 years since the French revolution.

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“The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France for the US’s liberty. These were to celebrate progress and the betterment of peoples lives. What are we celebrating?”

Award-winning radio host and television presenter Bridget Masinga wrote: “Penny, there are plenty iconic historical buildings and structures of significant identified to him by the CCIs that he can focus his limited resources on before undertaking a ‘silly legacy’ project that has no buy-in from the very sector he presents and there’s no need for.“

While TV and radio presenter Redi Tlhabi came out guns blazing, stating: “You don't have to be in the arts industry to be vehemently opposed to this..You just have to be a THINKING citizen..rich or poor, young and old, Black or White.

“This is not an "industry" matter. It is about economics! Industry hates itself? Our government hates them more!”

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