The Great Debate | Battle lines drawn over Sisulu

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It’s been three weeks since senior ANC member Lindiwe Sisulu fired her first salvo in an opinion piece. Photo: GCIS
It’s been three weeks since senior ANC member Lindiwe Sisulu fired her first salvo in an opinion piece. Photo: GCIS

NEWS


It’s been three weeks since senior ANC member Lindiwe Sisulu fired her first salvo in an opinion piece, sparking the big debate on the Constitution, the judiciary and their contribution to benefiting the country’s poor.

Many social media users have taken up firm positions to attack or defend Sisulu’s views, with others remaining neutral.

The overall conversation from January7to 26 2022
The overall conversation from January7to 26 2022

The Centre for Analytics and Behavioural Change followed the intense public debate on social media, recording three distinct peaks as the battle lines were drawn, the first shots were fired in retaliation and President Cyril Ramaphosa was drawn into the fray.

FOR

KEY NARRATIVES: Users agree with the views Sisulu expressed in her opinion piece about the judiciary and are critical of Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo and anyone else who disputes her views.

Some believe that Sisulu is  being sabotaged because she’s a woman, while others endorsed her as the next president.

AGAINST

KEY NARRATIVES: Many who do not agree with Sisulu’s views on the judiciary believe her attack is a political ploy to become the next president.

Many users have expressed support for Zondo while speaking out against Sisulu.

Some believe the member of Cabinet is being hypocritical as she has brought no significant benefits for the poor while in government, and that she is focusing on the judiciary  while ignoring issues of corruption.

NEUTRAL 

KEY NARRATIVES: Some social media users do not agree or disagree with Sisulu, but are critical of the entire ANC leadership.

Others say that, while they do not agree with Sisulu’s views, they are against the insults and attacks aimed at her.

Among those who are critical of Zondo’s response to Sisulu’s opinion piece are some who do not make it clear whether they support the minister or not.

A recurring theme is that many of Sisulu’s detractors believe that Ramaphosa should take action against her, with some expressing frustration at the president’s lack of action.

MOST RE-TWEETED TWEET IN THE CONVERSATION

The Centre for Analytics and Behavioural Change is a nonprofit organisation that was established to track and counter misinformation and disinformation, fake news and divisive or polarising rhetoric that is promulgated online to undermine social cohesion, democratic integrity and the stability of nation states. 


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