Former president Jacob Zuma used social media platform Twitter to snap back at ANC elections head Fikile Mbalula. Picture: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Durban – Former president Jacob Zuma used social media platform Twitter to snap back at African National Congress (ANC) elections head Fikile Mbalula on Sunday, 13 hours after the former police minister had questioned Zuma on the same platform.

“Comrade Mbalula, I am certain that you are not supposed to ask me such a question through twitter as you are inviting me to ask you questions on your question. This would lead to a conversation between you and I, either you educating me on ANC policy or vice versa,” said Zuma in the first of a three-part thread.

On Saturday, Zuma posted a series of photos of himself “honouring” Kgoši Mampuru II at the annual commemoration celebrations in Limpopo, where he delivered a speech.  

Mbalula – a prolific user of the platform – asked Zuma if it was the “right thing to do” unless he was delegated to attend the event. “U were a President bfo is this the right protocol? To go around addressing events that should be addressed by a [sitting] President?”

Zuma continued in his thread: “(for example), I can ask you what is the ANC policy on the question you are asking, I could also ask you if there is a policy on this matter? You, in particular, are aware that I have engaged you outside of the formal discussions of our own organisation to correct some misrepresentations.

“Facing the elections as we are, I suggest we avoid these kinds of conversations on such platforms. I am very keen to give you an explanation on this matter, away from social media should you be interested.”

Zuma, a newcomer to Twitter, is not a frequent user of the site, but posts enough to garner thousands of likes and retweets. Although he is facing fraud and corruption charges, Zuma remains popular among a significant portion of the population, particularly in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal.

Political pundits and media commentators have questioned the wisdom of using Zuma in the governing party’s electioneering efforts, but the party has said formally they would use all former presidents to mobilise support for this year’s general election.

African News Agency (ANA)