SA's ambassador to Denmark Zindzi Mandela-Hlongwane. File picture: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters.
The Department of International Relations and Co-operation (Dirco) said the South African ambassador to Denmark, Zindzi Mandela-Hlongwane, was accompanying the Banyana Banyana team during their debut Women’s World Cup game on Friday while Minister Naledi Pandor was trying to get hold of her.

Tweets linked to Mandela’s account in which white people were labelled “land thieves” and “cowards” who stole black people’s land caused a social media storm in the country.

Dirco spokesperson Lunga Ngqengelele said Pandor and Mandela-Hlongwane had a private telephonic conversation on Tuesday night following the allegations and the Minister was still mulling over what course of action, if any, to take against Mandela.

He, however, said Pandor has yet to brief the officials before making any public pronouncement on the matter.

Ngqengelele has quashed rumours that the ambassador had disappeared from the public space after her alleged tweets went viral.

“She is not on the run. We’ve since established that ambassador Zindzi Mandela was travelling with Banyana Banyana which made it difficult for us to reach her,” Ngqengelele said.

He said a decision will be taken at the briefing on whether Mandela-Hlongwane had violated the social media policy of the department. 

Ngqengelele said the briefing could not take place on Wednesday as Pandor was involved in a series of official engagements related to her portfolio but he emphasised a pronouncement would be made soon.

While the country waits for Pandor’s decision, a Cape Town resident Adriaan Lombard has lodged a complaint to Donald Morule - director for consular policy and legislation at Dirco.

In his request to Morule, Lombard said: “Kindly provide us with reasons why Zindzi Mandela’s recent twitter comments cannot be viewed as racist?

“Kindly advise how we as white South Africans can fight back against you, the South African government (it seems we have a new apartheid where white racism is not acceptable but black racism is),” Lombard said.

He also asked Morule to advise them on the legal processes for a formal complaint against the “racist ambassador “. Last night, Lombard threatened to lodge a civil class lawsuit if the government fails to act on Mandela.

Another Afrikaner grouping, the National Front of South Afrikaner, led by JD Lotter, wrote a letter to the Queen of Denmark, Her Majesty Queen Margrethe asking for her intervention on Tuesday.

Political Bureau