The Twitter war of words between musician Steve Hofmeyr and Zelda la Grange rages on. La Grange was former president Nelson Mandela’s personal assistant for years while he was still active in politics. She was offended by an article that Steve Hofmeyr shared on Twitter with an accompanying tweet that said: “Must read. Hel. Wat ’n stuk.” This means “Must read. Hell. What a piece”.
The article that started it all was written by Emanuel McLittle, an American writer, back in 2002. It is entitled ‘The Nerve of Nelson Mandela’ and in it, McLittle scrutinizes Mandela’s political career. The writer blames Mandela for leaving South Africa in a worse economic state than it was in before he became the country’s first black president. “With little to no experience in politics, except the killing of whites and rival Zulu tribesmen, Mandela has no legitimate claim to greatness.”
McLittle goes on to say that Mandela has never written anything of high intellectual value and his public speeches were written by others. The writer adds: “He is of average intelligence and has no money other then what was given to him for his role in South Africa’s fall. So, how did he become a hero?”
Zelda la Grange asked Hofmeyr to speak openly about how he feels. Hofmeyr has responded to tweets that he had insulted the former president by tweeting that he had opinions, not insults. Before he wished his Twitter followers a restful evening on Tuesday, Hofmeyr tweeted: “Nothing said today can make me become what libs want. I will not defend racism nor “Mandela bashing”. I do neither. I zip insults & keep facts.”
Both la Grange and Hofmeyr command a large following on social networks and their tweets are shared by many who have the same views as they do. The article and tweet by Hofmeyr has started a Twitter debate that doesn’t look like it will end anytime soon.