The legacy of three court orders, a media furore, and pupils who went without textbooks last year appears to be holding strong – on Twitter.
The basic education department was in a fluster on Wednesday afternoon after it was alerted to tweets coming from what it said was a fake Twitter account under Minister Angie Motshekga’s name.
On Tuesday the newly created @AngieMotshekga account tweeted: “Parents, make sure your children are on time tomorrow for the first day of school! Those mud schools aren’t going to fill themselves!”
John Allers (@john_allers) responded: “And the text books won’t walk to school by themselves.”
The legacy of three court orders, a media furore, and pupils who went without the textbooks they needed for months last year appears to be holding strong.
The account could hardly be described as having followers en masse, however, although it was followed by some influential tweeters such as Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba and Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.
On Tuesday the spoof account tweeted: “I got a call from an EC school that was on fire, I told them THERE IS NO CRISIS. Teaching to carry on as normal #backtoschool #nocrisis.”
‘Don’t buy private education’
More tweets include: “Reports of a tjatjarag grade 1 kid in Limpopo refusing to come out from under his desk. We give them desks and you see what they do!” and “Don’t buy private education, don’t buy.”
On Wednesday the department sent out a media statement saying Motshekga wanted to distance herself from a Twitter account claiming to be her own.
“Bogus news items, such as comments, were posted on the fake account; giving the mistaken impression that the minister was using that platform to engage with South Africans,” departmental spokesperson Panyaza Lesufi said.
“We warn the public and those using social media to ignore the account as it does not represent the department, the minister or government. The creator/s of this account are disrespectful and seek only to tarnish the good name of the minister, that we will not allow.”
The department also tweeted this from its own Twitter account, @DBE_SA.
The fake @AngieMotshkega tweeted back: “There is a fake Twitter account out there that is trying to tarnish my good name! #mxm #mynameisverygood” and “I am my own person!”