Mandela-Hlongwane had shown no such restraint last Friday, when she posted a series of tweets that, in typical social media fashion, went downhill from the off, as our ambassador to Denmark managed to seamlessly segue from calling white South Africans land thieves and cowards to c#nts and a#seholes in almost as many tweets.
Minister Naledi Pandor, her political boss, got involved on Tuesday, saying the matter would be investigated, but not before the Teletubbies had taken to the Twitter streets to rally behind her unequivocally, with Steve Hofmeyr, just as predictably, two-finger typing blood curdling threats to her - and DA MP Phumzille van Damme.
Dirco though - to say nothing of the Union Buildings - has a major headache. It’s not what Mandela-Hlongwane believes that’s the issue, it’s not even the register of language she used. She’s actually entitled to both. The land issue, Hofmeyr’s bluster notwithstanding, cannot be wished away. The real issue is whether Mandela-Hlongwane can make those utterances in public.
Politicians have an incredible amount of latitude, ordinary citizens less so. Those selected to represent all of us - not just sectarian interests - have even less.