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.
😂😂😂😂 Everyone in the @MYANC is forever shocked.— Mthandeni (@DonsiNathi) February 25, 2019
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.
Shocked runs in the family. You are Shock Absorbers.— Thabo Malapile (@Malapile) February 25, 2019
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.
Seems like everyone in thuma mina is always shocked 🤷♂️🏃♂️— Ribes_The Fighter✊🇿🇦🇿🇦 (@Ribes_L) February 25, 2019
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.
The @MYANC is always shocked at the mess this country is in. As if you had nothing to do with it. Tsek!— Tertius Strydom (@tertiusstrydom) February 25, 2019
The "shocked and angry" brigade 👏👏— Sizwe Beyi (@SBeyi) February 25, 2019
Am Shocked that Government keeps being shocked that we have too many broken systems in this country, Government keeps being shocked that they are not providing things they are constitutionally obliged to provide. 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔— MR DICK (@kabelodick) February 25, 2019
We are also shocked that you are shocked..You President was also shocked by loadshedding, Zizi kodwa is shocked by rape allegations, Gordan was shocked and demanded apology..it just goes on!! Ignorance.— My Name is Saida (@Sandile90007257) February 25, 2019