Is Fikile Mbalula, international man of mystery, in Ukraine or SA? We will know at 10:00 on Monday

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Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula
  • Fikile Mbalula appears to be in South Africa.  
  • His whereabouts became a matter of speculation after a cryptic tweet that he had landed in Ukraine.
  • No clarification for the Ukraine tweet has, as yet, been offered.

The supposed mystery of Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula's whereabouts will be cleared up at 10:00 on Monday morning.

On Saturday morning at 10:53, Mbalula raised quizzical eyebrows when he tweeted, "Just landed in Ukraine."

As many South African Twitter users commiserated with the Ukrainian people over this, no explanation was forthcoming from Mbalula.

News24 reported on Saturday that Mbalula and all his spokespeople were not immediately available to shed any light, but ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said: "I suspect he has been hacked."

Several Twitter users speculated that Mbalula's presence was part of the Russian invasion, as he was sure to leave a trail of destruction in his path.

There was, subsequently, complete radio silence from the usually prolific tweeter, Mbalula.

But he stuck his head up from the Twitter trenches about 28 hours after his initial tweet.

At 14:48 on Sunday, Mbalula tweeted: "Tomorrow I'll conduct an oversight visit to DLTCs in the Gauteng province. I will also speak on the approaching deadline for the Extension of Licence Validity and other related issues."

There was also an invitation for the media to accompany Mbalula to driving licence test centres (DLTC) in Gauteng.

At the time of writing, no clarification for the Ukraine tweet was offered.

Before his cryptic tweet about landing in Ukraine, Mbalula retweeted the Russian Embassy in South Africa, who thanked South Africans for their support of Russia in "fighting Nazism in Ukraine".

In a very unusual diplomatic move, the German embassy in South Africa responded, saying Russia is "is slaughtering innocent children, women and men for its own gain".

"It's definitely not 'fighting Nazism'. Shame on anyone who's falling for this," the German tweet read.

With regard to the Russian invasion, the South African government has publicly said it is practising "quiet diplomacy" - and that it will not pick sides.

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