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Ramaphosa World Cup Rugby tweet gets #RWC2019 red card

A celebratory rugby tweet by President Ramaphosa, with a barb aimed at Boris Johnson, has sparked a massive backlash on Twitter



President Cyril Ramaphosa probably did not anticipate a backlash from South Africans when he took to Twitter to celebrate South Africa’s World Cup Rugby 2019 semi-final victory over Wales.

However, the tweet seemed to open the floodgates of South Africans’ pent-up frustrations. Prime among these was the fact that South Africans could not watch the rugby if they did not have a DStv Premium account – putting it out of reach of the vast majority of South Africans. It was the overwhelmingly most common response to the tweet.

Along with this grievance, Twitter users objected to: the President wanting to meet UK prime minister Boris Johnson; the cost of a Presidential entourage attending the cup final in Japan; the Eskom crisis being ignored by the President; the behaviour of various ministers; and the shortage of adequate rugby fields in poor provinces.

That is not to say the President did not get support for his exuberance. By midday Monday he had close to 11,000 likes for his tweet, and 2,700 Retweets. However, it was in the 700+ comments on his tweet that frustrations boiled over.

South Africans got a taste of how great SABC public broadcasting could be with the FIFA World Cup games being broadcast for free on SABC 1, but these expectations have been dashed for rugby.