WATCH: BBC journalist GRILLS Fikile Mbalula on ‘insurrection’ claims
The awkward interview with Fikile Mbalula has gone viral with some praising the journalist for asking the “hard-hitting questions”
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula might be feeling a bit regretful after he conducted a television interview with the BBC just recently. Mbalula was a guest on the news channel’s current affairs programme HARDTalk and the results are… let’s just say cringe worthy.
The interview focused on the latest developments in the country, including the aftermath of the recent riots, the Phoenix deaths and Cape Town taxi violence. The host of the programme, Stephen Sackur did not hold back and grilled the minister – particularly on the contradictory messages coming from government. TheSouthAfrican was in consultation with the BBC ahead of this interview, providing context about the situation to the UK-based broadcaster.
WATCH: Fikile Mbalula sticks to his guns
Here’s how we got here: It all started when Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula told Parliament that she did not think the recent riots (which rocked parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal) were a result of an attempted coup or insurrection – contradicting President Cyril Ramaphosa’s assertion.
“We heard people making reference to the insurrection or coup. If it is an insurrection or coup, it must have a face. Our view is that we are seeing signs of counter-revolution, which is creeping up in the form of hooliganism and thuggery,” Mapisa-Nqakula said at the time.
Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni then hit back at her defence counterpart’s statement, claiming they were not backed by facts.
“We want to clarify that the position of the government is that as articulated by the president, of an attempt at an insurrection in the country. That perspective is informed by discussions at the National Security Council, which is chaired by the president and receives briefings from the military commanders and other law-enforcement officials,” Ntshavheni said.
Twitter has been awash with reactions to the awkward BBC interview, with some even praising Sackur for asking the “hard-hitting questions” – here’s what some South Africans have had to say.