There was a twitter backlash against two politicians who spoke in Verena at the mass funeral on Saturday of 16 pupils and a school assistant who died when their minibus taxi collided with a heavy duty truck near Bronkhorstspruit last month.
Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi and Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete used the occasion to talk politics at the funeral.
Maswanganyi took the time allocated to him to respond to former president FW de Klerk‚ who on Friday criticised the African National Congress government during the inaugural National Foundations Dialogue Initiative.
“Under the ANC government the Road Accident Fund is no longer an exclusive domain‚ it also cares for our people even here in Verena so today we can’t be told by FW de Klerk who was the president of the apartheid government‚ because under him‚ the roads were for the whites‚” Maswanganyi said.
Mbete urged parents to dissuade their children from staging protests in the streets as a way of voicing their concern over various issues.
“We take this opportunity to say these kids leave us at the time when we are fixing our country. Let us teach our children coming after us that if there is damage at home and when we differ in opinions we do not go outside and make noise to our neighbours‚” Mbete said.
Twitter users did not take kindly to the comments from these politicians.
Given Baloyi described the speeches from the two as “disgusting”
One twitter user said if he was a relative of one of the children‚ the politicians would not have finished their speeches.
Another said: “These Zuma stooges have gone too far.”
Another asked why the politicians were talking about the ANC at a funeral.
One said Mbete saw the funeral as the best place to launch her bid for the presidency.
Another said Mbete was selfish for campaigning at a funeral.
Another user expressed surprise that Maswanganyi believed the Road Accident Fund did not pay out claims from black people before 1994.
Novelist‚ poet and playwright Zakes Mda told children not to listen to Mbete and seek help from outside if there was abuse.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga also addressed the mourners and said road safety was everyone’s burden.
She also asked the parents to accept that their loved ones had passed on.