Ambassador Zindzi Mandela
Johannesburg - On the eve of Youth Day, Zindzi Mandela, South Africa’s ambassador to Denmark, set Twitter ablaze with a series of fiery tweets about “white cowards and shivering land thieves”. 

Within hours, #ZindziMandela was trending, with over 13 000 tweets responding to hers with either outrage or praise on the contentious land issue.

“Whilst I wine and dine here... wondering how the land of shivering land thieves is doing #Ourland,” read one of Mandela’s tweets.

AfriForum labelled her tweets “racist and divisive”, and called on Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Naledi Pandor to recall and fire Mandela. AfriForum accused Mandela of “contributing to a dangerous discourse of scapegoating” in a public arena.

Deputy chief executive of AfriForum responsible for international liaison Alana Bailey said: “With false allegations and demeaning terms such as ‘cowards’ and ‘land thieves’, she is contributing to a dangerous discourse of scapegoating. Her defence that she is entitled to a personal opinion, shows a complete lack of insight into her responsibility in her position as ambassador.”

The president of the Black First Land First party, Andile Mngxitama, applauded Mandela, saying his party backed her statements. 

“She is absolutely correct in characterising white people as land thieves and also as cowards who hide behind stolen identities on social media,” he said

“White people have made black South Africans... terrified to tell the truth and so when you speak the truth you are delegitimised, considered a racist and also thrown out of the protection of the law,” he said.

Asked for comment, department spokesperson Clayson Monyela said he had been unable to contact Mandela to verify the authenticity of the tweets, and could not comment officially until he had spoken to her.

The Sunday Independent