Khusela Diko gets flak for ‘pray for America’ tweet
Durban – Suspended presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko drew heavy criticism after she posted a tweet that called for prayers for America in light of the violence that played out in its capital on Wednesday.
In a tweet, Diko said “Pray for America”.
Later after the backlash, Diko referred to her tweet and tweeted: “Sarcasm: the use of irony to mock or convey contempt *SMH*”.
Supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol Hill on Wednesday, in an incident that left four people dead and several injured.
Diko’s tweet drew fire from EFF leader Julius Malema, former DA leader Mmusi Maimane and other prominent South Africans who said they would rather pray for South Africa as it was facing its own challenges.
Some went for the jugular, saying they would rather pray for the return of PPE funds that were stolen, in reference to her husband Thandisizwe Diko’s alleged involvement in the R120 million PPE tender fraud linked to the Gauteng Department of Health. This led to her suspension from her job as spokesperson for President Cyril Ramaphosa. The Dikos have denied any wrongdoing in the tender process.
Maimane fired the first salvo. “You are right that we must pray for a peaceful transition in the most important democracy on Earth. The prayer list is incomplete though, I will be praying for PPE funds to be returned as well. I will be praying for competent leaders who can get South Africans a vaccine asap.”
EFF leader Julius Malema simply tweeted “He banna, wena?”
Twitter user la fisto posted: “We have our own problems at the borders but (they) are busy (praying) for America trying to make themselves relevant.” Yin_yang tweeted, “Are you not suspended for a tender for PPE fraud wena? Pray for your soul to focus on yourself.”
And “Main Switch” tweeted “Pray for America. This situation in yo(ur) own backyard, people dropping like flies. Lack of resources because corrupt officials give tenders to families. Pls don’t feel offended if I am not talking to you.”
The Mercury tried to contact to Diko for comment on WhatsApp, but she had not responded by the time of publication, and presidential spokesperson Tyrone Seale did not respond to a request for comment.