Transport Minister and African National Congress (ANC) head of campaigns Fikile Mbalula has taken a swipe at Duduzane Zuma, the son of former President Jacob Zuma.
The young Zuma has recently made high profile appearances at ANC events and January 8 rallies, drawing a huge amount of attention in the process.
His latest appearance was at the ANC KwaZulu-Natal’s January 8 rally held on Sunday in Port Shepstone.
‘Rising star, my foot’
Videos shared on social media showed him making a grand entrance at the rally along with several bodyguards as crowds flocked around him with chants of “Zuma! Zuma!”
This prompted ANC member Nonceba Mhlauli to make a tongue-in-cheek remark on Twitter that Zuma is “a rising star” in the ANC.
However, Mbalula replied, “Rising star my foot. Disrupting and rallies with Hollywood type and hyped by disingenuous media [sic].”
In another tweet, Mbalula also questioned the number of bodyguards Zuma has whenever he appears in public.
The Minister’s remarks sparked debate among his Twitter followers, with many of them accusing him of being envious of Zuma.
Mufhadi Mulisa replied, “You’re envious of this chap. You couldn’t reach the heights he has at this age, and afraid you might never in your lifetime.”
“You are breathing through the wound. The boy has more charisma than you, and 10x content, not to mention his success… unomona [you’re jealous],” added @mthoko1zn.
Some however agreed with Mbalula. @MarobelaKMP2 wrote, “Thought so too. But comrades are too gullible. Allow themselves to be distracted by nobody.”
The young Zuma’s sudden visibility in ANC events has sparked speculation that he may be considering vying for a leadership position in the party.
Prominent ANC leader in the Nelson Mandela Bay region, Andile Lungisa, tweeted on Monday, “If we want to capture [the] imagination of young people in our country, Mcebo [Dlamini] and Duduzane [have] to be part of [our] plans.”