While criminals in South Africa were running rampant last week, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula was concerned about his Twitter followers, who had surpassed the million mark.
“The Minister with a Million followers on greets you this Sunday morning [sic],” he tweeted.
Senior officers felt the pressure and tweeted from the police’s official account that evening: “#sapsHQ Congratulations to our Minister @MbalulaFikile for passing the ONE MILLION mark on Twitter #proud”.
After promising to follow back the next few poor souls who followed him in a Twitter lottery of sorts, Minister Razzmatazz tweeted his thanks: “Thank you SAPS, social media is important. It allows us to reach and assist as many people. The more we connect – the better we inform.”
Well, Minister Mbaks, we can’t tweet striking 10111 staff to get help, can we? Also, we at City Press are now thinking of unfollowing you because your cellphone is proving to be a distraction.
On Thursday, Statistician-General Pali Lehohla released this year’s Victims of Crime Survey: the murder rate rose by 9%, sexual offences by 117% and carjacking by 93%. This, in Twitterspeak, is #notcool.
According to the survey, on the whole, South Africans weren’t satisfied with police officers’ performance (#notokay). More than half of them didn’t report burglaries, believing that police either couldn’t or wouldn’t do anything about it (#notproud).
“This could be an indication of a lack of confidence in the police,” Stats SA said in its report.
So, Minister Mbalula, when it comes to the country’s crime disaster, which this week sent a busload of Euro-spending Dutch tourists fleeing home, we are neither #livingourbestlife nor are we #blessed. We humbly submit that you get your cops off Twitter and on to the streets.