ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu. File picture:Bhekikhaya Mabaso/ ANA
ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu. File picture:Bhekikhaya Mabaso/ ANA

Jackson Mthembu's 'shock' at OR Tambo fire rubs Twitter wrong way

By BOTHO MOLOSANKWE Time of article published Feb 26, 2019

Share this article:

Johannesburg - ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu opened himself to ridicule on Twitter when he tweeted his "shock' that a car had been on fire at OR Tambo International before firefighters responded 45 minutes later.

While he and the airport later got into a tiff about the exact time it took for firefighters to respond, his use of the word "shocked" seemed to have rubbed many people the wrong way as it reminded them of what President Cyril Ramaphosa recently said as the country experienced load shedding.

"We have heard that there is stage four load shedding. Now that comes as quite a shock because it is reported that there are six units that have gone down. It is most worrying, most disturbing, and it comes as a shock," Ramaphosa had said at the time.

"First it was Ramaphosa 'shocked' by Eskom's lights out, a beleaguered SOE, now the chief whip of the ruling party 'shocked' by fire in the home of SAA, another beleaguered SOE, a REAL shock awaits the beleaguered ANC on the 8th, WATCH THE SPACE!!!," @LukheleSporo tweeted.

Mthembu's tweet stemmed from a fire that was captured on video raging in one of the parking bays at the airport. One of the cars parked there caught fire and according to witnesses, it took quite sometime for firefighters to respond.

Mthembu was one of the many people who weighed in on the matter tweeting: A car burns to dust @ortambo_int airport without any attempt to save it . Is there no fire engine at our prestigious airport ? I am shocked.

He also said he had spoken to Blade Nzimande, Minister of Transport, on the matter and Nzimande told him the issue was getting his "immediate attention".

The airport, however, claimed that their Fire & Rescue team was dispatched within three minutes of the blaze being reported but Mthembu and a few others disputed that, saying the car had already burnt to the ground when firefighters finally arrived.

Some people, however, decided to take on Mthembu for his claims of being shocked, saying ANC politicians were in a constant state of shock when they found out that things were going pear-shaped in the country. One even took this a notch higher calling them shock absorbers.

Share this article: