Herman Mashaba. Picture: VATHISWA RUSELO
Herman Mashaba. Picture: VATHISWA RUSELO

Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba has refused to apologise for a tweet he posted and later deleted that compared President Cyril Ramaphosa to US head of state Donald Trump.

In an interview with the SABC’s Morning Live on Wednesday‚ Mashaba said his tweet was not personal or intended to praise Trump but was rather meant to spark a discussion on the failures of governments.

Over the past few days the executive mayor of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba, has been in the headlines. The most prominent issue came on Monday when he Tweeted comparisons between US president Donald Trump and president Cyril Ramaphosa, seemingly praising Trump. Mayor Mashaba also yesterday launched the 71 buildings initiative. The mayor joins us in studio to tell us more. For more news, visit: sabcnews.com

On Monday‚ Mashaba shared a picture listing Trump’s "successes" alongside Ramaphosa’s "failures".

Side-stepping criticism and defending the tweet‚ Mashaba said: "I looked at the performance of the two countries because we are being told these lies that the poor economic performance and high unemployment is as a result of global economic issues.

"It’s got nothing to do with the personalities‚ but the failure of this government."

Pressed that the tweet was personal and that he was effectively supporting Trump‚ Mashaba replied: "We are not stupid. All the looting‚ mismanagement and maladministration has happened under Cyril’s watch."

He said one needed to interrogate why so many people were unemployed in the country.

"He [Ramaphosa] decided to turn a blind eye on Zuma looting our country‚ resulting in 10-million of our men and women [being] unemployed and an economy underperforming‚" Mashaba said.

Asked if he would apologise to the country for posting the tweet‚ Mashaba maintained it was merely to get South Africans talking about the challenges the country faced.

"I stand by what I have articulated‚ in terms of comparison of the governments and how governments can fail people. People want to divert attention to it and bring nonissues to the matter‚" said Mashaba.

"I needed South Africans to have a discussion on serious matters. We are going to continue with this discussion. Let Cyril tell us why the Guptas left SA before they were charged. This is what I wanted people to have a discussion on."