Tshwane spokesman left red-faced

Tshwane Mayor’s spokesman issued an internal email promising to “spin and spew at AfriForum”.

FILE: Tshwane Executive Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa, whose spokesman Blessing Manale has been slammed by AfriForum for an email. Picture: Sapa

PRETORIA - Tshwane's head of communications Blessing Manale has been left red-faced after an email was inadvertently sent out in which he says he will fob off a journalist's questions and attack AfriForum in the same response.

AfriForum has now asked City Manager Jason Ngobeni to explain the conduct of the spokesperson, accusing the municipality of not taking the organisation's complaints seriously.

When AfriForum issued a statement two weeks ago about the municipality's failure to address squatters in Monument Park in Pretoria East, a newspaper sent questions to the city management, offering them a right to reply.

Manale then forwarded that media query to colleagues, saying, "Please send me any general report. I will spin and spew at Afriforum in one paragraph."

Manale first questioned how the media obtained details of what he termed an "internal email about strategy against an opponent" and then defended his attack on AfriForum.

"We regard Afriforum's continuous attacks on the city as deserving of any kind of abhorrent treatment."

AfriForum says this attitude illustrates that the municipality does not serve the interests of the community.