DA leader Helen Zille posted a picture of her toe to prove to her doubting Twitter followers that she was bitten by a rat. Photo: @helenzille
DA leader Helen Zille posted a picture of her toe to prove to her doubting Twitter followers that she was bitten by a rat. Photo: @helenzille

Zille goes toe-to-toe with rat

By Mercury Correspondent Time of article published Mar 20, 2013

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Cape Town - Tweeters were quick to smell a rat when Premier Helen Zille used the platform to announce she had been bitten by one.

She was asked whether the offending rat had been wearing an ANC shirt, and was warned that the wound could turn black, yellow and green.

At 6.06am on Tuesday, Zille tweeted to her 251 000 followers: “The weirdest thing just happened. I went to fetch the newspapers at the gate when a rat darted out, and bit me on my toe!”

This was retweeted 268 times. Tweeters were quick to chime in with advice and suggestions for Zille, including that she should go to the doctor, improve security at Leeuwenhof and post a photo.

Her spokesman Zak Mbhele tweeted: “I know the City Bowl rats are mutant freaks of nature but if they’re starting to take nibbles out of people, we’re in trouble... .”

Ten minutes later she posted: “I have just looked up on Google. It says no one in the US has ever got rabies from a small rodent. But I will ask my doctor. tks 4 advice.”

@DrewanBaird said: “Treat the wound; it may turn black, yellow and green.”

@Darren_H_Smith asked: “Was it wearing an ANC shirt?”

Someone commented: “See there @helenzille didn’t blame the ANC for the rat bite”, to which Zille responded: “Damn, why didn’t I think of that!!”

Soon afterwards, she uploaded a photograph of her toe.

“Oh ye of little faith who want to see a pic b4 you believe. Here it is even tho I badly need a pedi.”

Zille particularly enjoyed a tweet which read “Biting news: DemocRATic Alliance bite back as Zuma approves new ANC Rat League”, which she retweeted and favourited.

She was also asked what colour the rat was, black or white, to which she responded: “Only in SA!! Just a matter of time b4 someone brought race into it.”

Cape Times

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