Time to focus on 'Ramareality' - Mashaba defends tweet criticising Ramaphosa, praising Trump

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Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has waded into controversy by tweeting a comparison between controversial US President Donald Trump, who is labelled as a "success", and President Cyril Ramaphosa, dubbed a "failure" in the side by side images.

Mashaba's post, which his office said he tweeted in his personal capacity, said "Judge for yourself", and listed some of Trump’s "successes" as "reduced taxes", "stricter immigration control" and "economic growth". Ramaphosa's "failures" meanwhile included "increased taxes", "calling for open African borders" and "economic decline".

The tweet was subsequently deleted.

Several users claimed Mashaba, who like Trump has criticised the influx of immigrants, was declaring his support for Trump.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille also waded into the debate after comments turned against the DA. She once again tweeted about colonialism in her response.

"Do you genuinely believe the legacy of colonialism was ONLY negative? Then let's scrap the constitution including concepts such as the separation of powers. Let's scrap formal education institutions, the English language etc etc," she tweeted.

Zille previously came under fire for tweets in which she said the legacy of colonialism was not all negative.

Mashaba later defended the tweet, telling his followers: "This comparison has nothing to do with Trump, but with government that serves the people & put serious matters in perspective. It appears to me that some people enjoy seeing our people suffer".

"I hold no great affinity for the President Trump. Personally, I like President Ramaphosa. However, this is not about personalities," Mashaba explained.

'Point of the tweet'

"The point of the tweet was to illustrate the fact that, despite our misgivings of President Trump, his government has been engaged in action which is allegedly returning some benefits.

"President Ramaphosa has overseen a declining economy which has left South Africans not only increasingly jobless, but also fighting increasingly rising costs of living," Mashaba said.

This record alone, according to the Johannesburg mayor, is worthy of criticism.

"It's time to look past the so-called 'Ramaphoria' and focus on the 'Ramareality'," Mashaba said.

Mashaba also called out ANC supporters that took him to task for the tweet.

"To those people I ask, where was all this outrage when the ANC-led government allowed the Guptas to abuse our country? Where was this outrage when the Guptas went about insulting black people via alleged racial slurs? Why do they still remain silent on these issues?"

Trump, before being elected president, was critical of South Africa on Twitter.

In 2013 he tweeted: "I really like Nelson Mandela but South Africa is a crime ridden mess that is just waiting to explode-not a good situation for the people."

In 2015 he said: "As I have long been saying, South Africa is a total - and very dangerous - mess. Just watch the evening news (when not talking weather)".

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